Wild garlic, or ramsons or bear garlic or bear onion, grows in the woodlands in Europe and has a distinctive garlicky scent. It’s pretty wonderful to come upon it while out for a walk… you will smell it before you see it! Just be warned that the scent will make you very hungry. Be sure to read up on it before you forage for it. Mr. GoodEating and I just love it. We picked a big bunch recently after a long walk. Here it is after I thoroughly washed it.
I also came across it on a recent trip to a small rural village in Hungary and it was being sold in the local market.
And here it is in a fragrant, rich and creamy risotto. Recipe after the photo. Serves two.
- 300g wild garlic, well washed and finely chopped
- 100g arborio rice
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped alternatively, 50g almonds, lightly toasted and finely chopped – the carrot or the almonds provide the sweet counterpart to the garlicky taste. Mr. GoodEating prefers the almonds to the carrots
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1.5 L vegetable stock, should be hot throughout the cooking process
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- a dollop of vegan butter (optional and I must admit that I only add it if I have my home made butter because it’s the most creamy)
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil for a minute over medium high heat. Add the onions and carrot (if using the latter) and fry until soft (approximately 15-20 minutes). Approximately 10 minutes into your onion/carrot softening process, add the rice and stir it constantly until the outer edges of the rice become somewhat clear. This releases the rice gluten and will make your risotto more naturally creamy. Do not let it burn. You may need to turn down the heat to medium.
Once the vegetables are softened, add the wine. Let the rice absorb it and then start ladling in the hot vegetable stock. Don’t flood the saucepan. Stir constantly and once the rice has absorbed all the stock, then add the next ladleful. Repeat the process and remember to keep stirring.
Before you add the last ladleful of vegetable stock, add the wild garlic (and the almonds if you’re using them). Once all the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat, stir in the nutritional year and vegan butter. Season to taste. Serve hot (with a side of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms, perhaps?) and if there are any left overs, they’re delicious cold too.