Kale and Wild Ramp Risotto

This weekend my husband and I split up the kids for some small group activities… the girls went with daddy to see some golf and the boys went with mommy to the Atherton Mills Farmers Market. I rarely get to saunter around the fabulous farmers market at Atherton Mills on South Boulevard here in Charlotte because I generally worry about misplacing a child while enjoying some fresh greek style yogurt from New Terra Farms or cinnamon whipped honey at the yummy Cloister Honey table (they’ve got fancy bees that live on top of the Charlotte Ritz Carlton – not kidding!). This weekend it was such a pleasure to taste test at leisure and pick up some delicious local produce.

Stripping the leaves

Baby on my back, bags full of produce and a book (I’ll write about it more later … but all of you local North Carolinians will definitely want to get this guidebook … Farm Fresh NC!) and my older son worriedly exclaimed, “Mom, we can’t leave without kale!” Who can say no to a kindergartener in love with kale?!


Once we got home, we made oven toasted kale chips but we still had quite a bit of kale left over from the large bunch we purchased. While pondering what to make for dinner tonight, I was suddenly inspired by the large bag of kale staring back at me from the refrigerator and the slightly musty smell of ramps that were cleaned and ready to be eaten. Whenever I have leftover produce, risotto is always an easy go-to weeknight meal.

Chopped kale and ramps


2 cups arborio rice
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Olive oil and butter to saute onion and garlic (about 1 to 2 Tablespoons
4 cups chicken broth
4 large handfuls kale, cleaned and chopped
1/2 bunch ramps (about 6 to 8), chopped
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)


1. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil and butter until soft in a large heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven.
2. Add arborio rice and stir to coat.
3. Heat to medium. Add chicken broth, 1 cup at a time. Stir to incorporate the broth. Wait until all the broth has been absorbed before you add the next cup.
4. Before you add the fourth and final cup of broth, add the kale and the ramps and stir into the rice.
5. Add the final cup of broth, stir until the broth has been incorporated and the rice tastes well cooked. If the rice still tastes al dente, add more broth.
6. Optional: If I have shredded parmesan cheese on hand, I will add it to the risotto at the very end.



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