Ramps: How to prepare?
- Bob Libkind
Any suggestions on how to prepare/serve ramps? I picked them up this a.m. at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and they definitely emit a pungent aroma! Can't wait to try them, but am looking for ideas. Are they best in their pure, pungent raw state, or does cooking help?
First and foremost: wash them really well.
I find the leaves are excellent eaten raw but the stems definitely need some cooking attention, and I usually don't like to cut the leaves from the stems because they look so beautiful. try blanching the stems while keeping the leaves uncooked, then just sauté them with some butter, shallots, S&P. I also like to pickle them.
I separate the whites and greens, chop them both small, and saute them in butter, first the whites until they start to turn transparent; then the greens very briefly. They go really well with a nice piece of steak.
This season, I plan to make ramp risotto, using the whites in the soffrito and the greens in the condimento.
Thanks one and all for your ideas. Here's the results:
Per many suggestions, I par-cooked the whites, then set them aside with the green tops, along with some morels. In the meantime, I sauteed dry scallops in butter 'til golden outside and creamy inside. Took out scallops, added some more butter to the pan, sauteed ramps and morels for about two minutes, removed, deglazed pan with some dry vermouth. Served scallops atop the ramp/morel mix.
Superb! Not the least expensive home cooked meal I've ever prepared, but one of the most succulent.