Unfortunately, I couldn't find ramps at either of the farmers markets we went to over the weekend. I substituted a leeks since ramps are, after all, wild leeks. The flavor wasn't exactly the same but it was pretty close. We were lucky to find the first of the baby broccoli of the year though, which had a wonderful flavor. (You could even use frozen broccoli florets in this dish if you can't find fresh yet.)
The sauce in this risotto is relatively simple without any added cheese or cream, I think that actually makes it a little lighter than a lot of risottos. But that means the flavor of the chicken broth is really important so use either homemade or the best store-bought one you can find.
Risotto with Leeks, Broccoli & Black Beans
1/3 c dry black beans (or 2/3 c canned beans, rinsed & drained)
4 c chicken broth
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T unsalted butter
1 leek, white & light green parts sliced
3/4 c arborio rice
1/4 c white wine
3/4 - 1 c broccoli florets
salt & pepper
fresh Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
Simmer the dry black beans in 1 cup of water until tender but not mushy, 2 - 3 hours. Drain & set aside.
Heat the chicken broth to simmering & keep it simmering while cooking.
In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil & butter over medium-heat. Add the leeks & cook for about a minute until starting to get soft. Stir in the rice & cook for another minute. Add the wine & cook, stirring from time to time, until completely absorbed. Start adding the broth about 1/4 - 1/2 cup at a time, stir often & don't add the next addition of broth until the one before it has been completely absorbed. When it looks like you have about 2 additions of broth left, stir in the broccoli with the second to last addition of broth. Stir in the black beans with the last addition of broth. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Serve topped with parsley & grated parmesan
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