Ramps are in abundance!
Just spent the day in northeastern PA collecting my first batch of ramps this season. They were EVERYWHERE! I managed to to grab just under ten pounds...took over two hours to clean once I got back to the house, but as any of you ramp aficionados out there know, the "work" will be WELL worth it. Now...to put them to use: grilled ramp vinaigrette; potato and ramp soup (with some smoked ham); pickled ramps; ramp bruschetta; scrambled eggs with caramelized ramps; potato & ramp rosti...let the spring foraging games begin...morels, fiddleheads, stinging nettles
Here the my potato and leek rosti
This is a different take on the rosti featured in Jamie Oliver's cookbook, "Cook with Jamie. He does not use leeks at all, however, the method I use is similar.
1.5 - 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into matchsticks
0.5 - 1 cup of wild leeks sliced on a bias (depending on how much leek flavor you like)
Minced fresh herbs (typically I throw in thyme and/or rosemary if I have it on hand)
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
In a cast iron skillet heat the olive oil and butter. Add potatoes, leeks, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs and saute for 10 - 15 mins until the potatoes start to soften.
Place the potatoes in the oven for 25-30 mins until the potatoes begin to brown slightly. Remove the pan from the oven and use either wax paper or aluminum foil and press the potatoes in the bottom of the pan so the mixture is flat, level, and compact. Remove wax paper or aluminum foil and put the pan back into the oven for another 25+ mins until the rosti is a nice golden brown on the top and the bottom...it might take longer depending on your oven.
Sometimes, depending on what oven I am cooking in, the top will not be as crispy as the bottom, in which case, I will broil the it for another five mins to get a nice caramelization on the top of the rosti.
I hope you enjoy...this rosti really is the most flavorful version I have tasted anywhere.
Let me know how it turns out!
Hey Lisa -
I found them in the northern end of Ricketts Glen State Park near the public beach area. You will find them on slopes with southern exposure in close proximity to streams in wooded areas with minimal underbrush. I know that might sound a little ridiculous, but those are some of the most consistent growing conditions you will find with wild leeks. They are a particular lot, as you might be aware.
Are you close to Ricketts Glen?
jz, wow, thanks for the specific reply! I know a lot of people are very protective of their "hunting" spots, especially when it comes to mushrooms. I am just south of Mountaintop and have never been to RG, but it is not that far. How long do you think the season will last here? Maybe if the rain stops I will go on an adventure this weekend. If I do, I will let you know how I do. Thanks again for sharing!
What part of PA? I grew up in Bradford where they held Stinkfest last week. I had my first leeks over easter in a cheese spread my mother makes. Lovely, though the lasting power of ramps is a downside to the enjoyment. I remember the boys getting kicked out of school in the spring for smelling too strongly of ramps.
Just found this discussion on ramps. I'm in southeast PA (Lancaster County), and would love to know if anyone has found them in this area. Never had them, but since I love leeks, I'm sure I would love ramps as well. Season should be right now, I''m assuming. Hoping I can get some positive replies.
I'm in southeastern PA (Lancaster). How does one distinguish a fiddlehead from another type of fern? And, does anyone know if ramps grow in Lancaster County?