This recipe from Blossom on Columbus in NYC is from their new "In Bloom" Spring menu. The menu truly puts vegetables center stage. The idea is also to use ingredients that are truly in season. In this case they are using the unique vegetable fiddlehead firms. Blossom's executive Chef Ramiro Ramirez says this is one of his favorite spring ingredients because they are only harvested for a few weeks. A bonus? They are a great source of vegan omega-3s.
Fiddlehead Fern Risotto [Vegan]
For the Risotto:
- 3 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 white onion
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 cups water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
For the Green Pea Sauce:
- 2 cups green peas (frozen is fine)
- 1 cup water
- 2 handfuls spinach
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Sautéed Vegetables:
- 1 teaspoon minced shallots
- 1 pound baby tri-color carrots (peeled)
- 1 pound baby fennel
- 1/2 pound fiddlehead ferns
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mince the 1/2 onion. Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large sauté pan and add the minced onion, sautéing until soft and translucent, but not browning. Add the dry Arborio rice, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add white wine, continue to stir. Add the water, and simmer on low heat until the water is absorbed. Set the risotto aside.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Blanche the peas for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then submerge in icewater for 30 seconds to stop the cooking process. Remove the peas from the icewater and place in a high-speed blender with the 1 cup water, spinach, lemon zest, and salt. Blend until smooth, then set aside.
- Finally, heat the vegan butter in a large sauté pan. Add prepped vegetables to pan and sauté on medium heat until beginning to brown. Set aside.
- To finish the risotto, heat 1 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the shallots and a splash of white wine, and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the finished risotto and green pea sauce, and stir in pan until well-combined.
- Plate with risotto on the bottom, and top with the sautéed fiddleheads, carrots, and fennel~!
Photo credit to Alex James Etling