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Posts Tagged ‘digging ramps’

Ramps_0122

Our wonderful friend Stuart popped in this afternoon with a bag of fresh-from-the-earth ramps he’d picked up at the local ramp festival near his weekend house in Milford, Pennsylvania.  Dinner plans were thrown out the door and ramps went right on the menu – made a great pasta dish featuring the entire plant.  Here’s what I did.

Sauteed about ½ cup of diced pancetta in extra virgin olive oil.  When it started to brown, I added the sliced white bulb of the ramps.  Sautéed until just soft, then I added the sliced ramp greens and a couple of handfuls of fresh garden peas.  Tossed the mix into thin spaghetti which I moistened with just a touch of heavy cream.  When blended, I added about ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese and a good dose of pepper.  Dusted each serving with some toasted bread crumbs and served extra cheese on the side.  Spring had arrived!

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If you’ve followed my rantings for any time, you know how much I appreciate ramps (or wild leeks), those aromatic billboards that announce SPRING in the northeast.  (Check out my post of May 17, 2011 for a full report on digging them.)  We have had and are having a very weird spring – we’ve had 80 degree days followed by freezing so the usual spring veggies have been having a hard time maturing.  We intended to dig ramps this past week – we had seen them in the farmers market although they were quite small – but when I started to lower the fork into the damp earth I could tell that they were just not quite as big as I would like so we took just a few to satisfy our longing for their almost sweet garlicky/shallot flavor and put ramp digging on the agenda for later this month.

Not willing to waste even a part of the small batch we brought home, I chopped up the lot, greens and all, and sautéed them with some button mushrooms I had on hand.  A little salt and pepper, a poached egg on top, and dinner was delicious!

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