Life is about enjoying all the little moments.
Like the gorgeous table overflowing with ramps in the Union Square Farmers' Market this weekend. I'm still kicking myself for not taking a picture.
Despite the fact that it was early afternoon, all the ramps were still crisp and fresh. Dirt clung to their green roots, evidence of how recently they'd left the ground.
Their rich, wild onion smell lingered around the table.
The ramps were so fresh, I could hardly wait to get started cooking. I whipped up a healthy, barley risotto that incorporated the ramps, green peas and cannellini beans. The greens from the ramps and the peas add a splash of color to the dish.
I'm a huge fan of barley risottos, both for cost ($1.19 for a big bag of barley at my local grocery store as compared to the price of arborio rice) and the health benefits.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, this dish has a secret ingredient.
Totally unnecessary. Wine is a perfectly fine substitute.
But on the incredibly rare occasion where you find yourself with an extra cup of prosecco, pull this recipe out. Put on your cutest apron. Pour it in. Watch it bubble up.
Then pour a glass for yourself.
It's a totally satisfying splurge only you'll know about. But you'll taste it there, just the faintest hint of it showing its face in the background of each bite.
You'll be filling your meal with all kinds of delightful little moments.
Barley Risotto with Ramps, Peas and Cannellini Beans
recipe inspired by NY Magazine
1 bunch ramps (approximately 12 ramps), stems and greens separated, cleaned and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups pearled barley
2/3 cup prosecco (white wine is a fine alternative)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup green peas (frozen or fresh are fine)
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a simmer.
In a large saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped ramp stems, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft. Add pearled barley, and saute, stirring regularly, until well coated with oil and a bit toasted (about 2 minutes).
Add 1/3 cup prosecco, and stir until combined. Add 1/3 cup vegetable broth and 1/3 cup processo, and continue stirring until incorporated. Add ramp greens and 1/2 cup additional vegetable broth.
Continue stirring regularly and adding additional vegetable broth whenever the mixture starts to dry. Cook for 25 to 35 minutes, until the barley has reached your desired consistency. I prefer it still a bit firm.
Add peas and cannellini beans and continue stirring for two to three minutes, until all ingredients are incorporated.
Serve hot, with salt and pepper to taste.