Fiddlehead ferns have a grassy flavor that marries well with asparagus, and their firm texture provides a nice contrast to the creamy risotto. If you can't find fiddlehead ferns, you could substitute extra asparagus, or use another spring green vegetable.
serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 cups fiddlehead ferns
1 1/2 cups asparagus tips
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well, and diced.
2 scallions, white parts only, washed and minced.
1 clove garlic minced
2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice (also called risotto rice)
1/2 cup dry white wine
approximately 5 1/2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Start by preparing the vegetables. Boil a medium sized pot of water, and have ready a large bowl of ice water. Thoroughly wash the fiddlehead ferns, then rub them in a kitchen towel to remove any of the brown paper-like chaff. Cut off any brown tips or bl