Saturday, May 2, 2009

Experimenting with Ramps

After reading so much hype about the sudden arrival of this spring's ramps (a long-leafed garlicky green, said to be a wild version of leeks,) I decided to buy a small $3 bunch at the USQ Greenmarket yesterday. I didn't know what I was going to do them, having never tried ramps before, but my fellow shoppers were going wild over them, as was their purveyor, who told me that I would fall immediately in love with them. And I did. Despite planning to save my newly acquired, soon-to-be obsession for a weekend's worth of cooking, I couldn't help but embark on a taste test as soon as I got home. I'm a curious kitty! I took two ramps, cut off the root, chopped up the scallion-like stem and threw the pieces into a pan with olive oil. Then I coarsely chopped the leaves, added them to the pan, and watched them wilt. I was really surprised by the bright flavor they gave off. They were pungent and just garlicky enough to be perfect on their own.

So much for saving them. As soon as I found out that I didn't have to wait for anyone for dinner, I quickly remembered reading about spaghetti with ramps dish on the Amateur Gourmet. So simple! I sauteed the ramps whole (just discarding the root) in olive oil, meanwhile cooking spaghetti. Then, I added half a cup or so of the cooking liquid in with the ramps, added the pasta, and mixed in grated Grana Padano, red pepper flakes, and Italian breadcrumbs.

I ate the pasta so fast I nearly got sick. But, it was worth it. I can't wait to make it again.

Then, this morning, I decided to pair my remaining few ramps with some goat cheese for a breakfast frittata.

This time, I chopped them up and sauteed them, meanwhile frying up some cut up bacon. I whisked up a couple of eggs mixed with a dash of milk and cold water, salt and pepper, and a few ounces of goat cheese. Then, I added the egg mixture into the pan with the ramps and bacon bits, mixed it around, and then let it set for 5 or so minutes. When it was nearly done setting, I put the pan in the broiler for a minute, took it out and flipped it over onto a plate, and there was a frittata! Bright and flavorful. Even better because I served it with hash browns, and I love hashbrowns.

*Sorry for the crappy photos! I really have to get my camera fixed, but I'm broke!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I bought a bunch of ramps today from the Grand Army farmers market, I was told that they were the very, very last of the season. Poo.