on sunday night i was too busy checking out my accidental sunburn (i have little red epaulets) to get cooking with my just-foraged goodies from central park. by last night i figured i needed to get started, though: those wee leaves and pods shrivel quickly in the refrigerator. my wild garlic bulbs from the ramble seemed like solid groundwork for a foo-foo spring recipe, and lo! the ultra-angry gordon ramsay (of hell's kitchen and umpteen british shows) provided me with one via the times online (wild garlic and parsley risotto). i liked the recipe's simplicity (and the fact that shallots completely replaced onion, which i'd never tried before), and parsley - why, that could be swapped out for the honewort i gathered! after a bit of monkeying with quantities, i came up with an adaptation:

central park risotto

- 32 oz. vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 8-10 wild garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 big shallots, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2-3 tbsp butter
- 1/4 lb. grana padano, grated rough
- heaping handful of honewort, chopped

bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan with about a half cup of water; keep it at a simmer. heat the olive oil in a large pan and soften both the garlic and the shallots* for 2-3 minutes; stir in the rice and cook until grains are translucent and about to begin browning. add the simmering stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until liquid is almost gone before adding another ladleful. before the last few rounds, add 6-12 big twists of black pepper and a large pinch of sea salt. when the rice is al dente, remove from heat and stir in the butter and cheese (add a small handful at a time until the mixture is cohesive but not goopy). stir in the chopped honewort and plate right away; sprinkle a bit of additional cheese on each bit just before serving.

honewort is marvelous stuff; it's got a much more delicate flavor than flat leaf parsley does, and it adds both springiness and a little taste of celery to the risotto (and, of course, it sounds like something a witch would use). the foraged garlic was quite understated as well - gordon's original recipe called for 3-4 cloves, but my little guys were so mild that i decided to use all of them. result: garden- (or park-) fresh risotto with a sketchy (tasty!) mystery-weed je ne sais quoi. highly recommended! (the parsley version is probably pretty good, too.)

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 have you ever foraged for wild eats? what did you do with what you gathered?

02 would you eat this risotto? i power-washed everything, scout's honor.

03 what are your favorite spring greens?

*i probably gave these a lustier browning than they actually needed, but i wanted to be quite sure i wasn't poisoning the missus with my wild greens. i've also watched gordon ramsay freak out over bad risotto quite a few times, so...yeah.

1 comment:

wabes said...

awesome! can we make a foraging date for next summer? foraging lit by fireflies?!