Fresh morel mushrooms….1/4 pound of fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
Asparagus: tough ends snapped off and cut into one inch pieces….one pound
English peas, fresh or frozen….3/4 cup
Ramps, cleaned….1 cup
Lemon zest….1 tbsp
Lemon juice…. 2 tbsp
Salt and pepper…to taste
In a medium sauce pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
Sauté the onions and garlic until soft.
Add the rice with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant.
Add 4 cups of water or vegetable stock and bring to boil.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. ( this is different than the usual risotto method but it’s faster and yields the same result! )
Cook for 15 minutes. Checking after ten, and adding more liquid if necessary.
While the risotto cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Add the asparagus and peas to the water and blanch for 3-4 minutes. Immediately transfer them, with a slotted spoon, to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Next add the cleaned ramps and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the ramps to a colander and place under cold water until chilled.
In a sauté pan over med-high heat, heat another tablespoon of olive oil.
Add the mushrooms and quickly sauté them for about two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small plate to cool.
Check the risotto. If the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, remove it from the heat, keeping the cover on.
In a blender, add the three cloves of smashed garlic, lemon juice, and ramps. (squeeze the ramps in a kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture and chop them roughly to remove any excess moisture.) Turn on the blender and puree.
Slowly add the olive oil until a smooth texture is achieved. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
Remove the cover to the risotto pot and add the ramp pesto, stirring until fully incorporated.
Next add the mushrooms, blanched vegetables and lemon zest. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
That’s all there is to it! Easy, fresh and a delicious way to celebrate the arrival of spring. Enjoy!
Ingredients: 1 cup or rice (I think any would work, but I like to use sticky rice)
2 tbs miso paste
1 green cabbage
1 block of tofu (preferably flavored – I use “5 spice” tofu) chopped in small pieces
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
1 hot pepper (thai, Serrano or chipotle), chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tbs olive oil Directions: Saute the garlic in the olive oil. Mix in the chopped roasted red peppers and hot peppers. Cook for 5 minutes. Put the mix in a food processor with the parsley and mix well until it forms a paste.
Cook the rice (follow the instructions depending on the type you are using)
Mix the cooked rice with the pepper paste and tofu adding salt to taste.
Separate the leaves of the green cabbage carefully so they do not break. Dip them in hot boiling water until they are soft enough to fold.
Stuff the cabbage leaves with the rice mix and roll them making sure the roll stays tucked in when you pick it up.
Preheat oven at 350 F
Boil 1 cup of water and dissolve the miso paste in it.
Place stuffed cabagge in a small pan and pour the miso broth over them.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the top of the cabbage gets light brown.
Our friend Justine sent me this recipe, a favorite of hers, for all you spice lovers!
Red Hot Chili Tofu
The tomato paste and chili paste combine to turn the tofu a lovely red color. Add more or less chili paste according to your heat tolerance. (From Vegan Fire and Spice: 200 Sultry and Savory Global Recipes.)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons sake or dry white wine (I used brown rice vinegar instead)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch strips
3 tablespoons cold-pressed canola oil
1/4 cup minced scallions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon hot chili paste (or more, to taste)
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, water, soy sauce, sake, and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
In a shallow bowl, combine the cornstarch and salt. Dredge the tofu strips in the cornstarch mixture, shaking off any excess.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu in batches and cook until golden brown. Transfer to a platter.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, garlic, ginger, and chili paste, and cook, stirring for 15 seconds. Add the reserved tomato paste mixture and stir until well blended. Add the reserved tofu and toss gently to coat with the sauce, cooking until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve hot, sprinkled with cilantro