3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 Rabbit Loin, Boneless (1-1/2 pounds)
4 ramps (wild leeks) or 1 large leek, sliced ¼-inch thick, white and light green part, rinsed to remove sand and drained
½ tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 large red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 pound Arborio rice
8 ounces dry white wine
1½ quarts chicken stock or rabbit stock, heated
½ pound fiddlehead ferns or young asparagus (both available in the Spring by calling (800) 327-8246), cleaned, trimmed, blanched and shocked. Leave fiddleheads whole. Cut asparagus on bias into ½-inch slices.
4 ounces Manchego or Parmesan cheese, grated
2 ounces assorted fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley, thyme, tarragon, chives) chopped + 6 small sprigs thyme, to garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add rabbit, stir to separate, then add ramps, garlic, and red pepper. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir until well mixed and heated. Pour in wine and bring liquid to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and, stirring often, add heated stock by cupfuls, stirring until rice has nearly absorbed all of the liquid before adding the next cup, about 20 minutes.
3. Add blanched fiddlehead ferns, cheese, and herbs. Mix and cook until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Rice should be al dente, but risotto should have a creamy consistency. Add more liquid if too dry. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among warmed plates and serve immediately, garnished with a sprig of thyme.