How do you like to cook ramps?
Anybody have a favorite way of cooking ramps?
Ramps are an east coast thing, although there are apparently some found on Vancouver Island and possibly in Oregon. No ramp festivals out here, as far as I know :-(
Courtesy of Central Market in Mill Creek, WA, we discovered ramps last year -- not knowing what wonders we'd found we only got enough for a single side dish, I just lightly sauteed them in butter. This year we got 2lbs (Metropolitan Market in Kirkland brought them in for us) and I'm trying to decide what else to do with them.
Just cleaned, this batch seems to have more intense garlicky scent than my memory of last year's batch, but cooking (I think) will reduce that, similar to the way green onions cook up.
I think this bunch would be a bit too aggressive a flavor used raw in salads, at least for ramp newbies.
I was thinking of using a very light balsamic vinegar at the end of the saute, just a hint. Any other ideas for ways to feature the flavor without burying it in a soup? Maybe sauteed and finished with a light cream sauce? I've seen ideas for ramp pizza.
Good description and pix here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_t...
At Babbo the other night I had the best, most simple ramps appetizer. Just pan fry the little guys whole until they're wilted or even a little burnt (not too much!) and serve them with a fresh Buffalo mozzarella and your favorite fancy bread toasted into a crostini. Drizzle the whole thing with EVOO and s&p. Easy peasy.
I bought a pound of ramps yesterday at the Farmer's Market. Last night, I made a ramp salsa to go with fish tacos... chopped up ramps, a little bit of spring onion, some parsley and cilantro, lime juice, salt. It was really good. Next time, I'd use more ramps and less cilantro because the ramp flavor got a bit lost.
This morning, I made an asparagus/ramp frittata, with a little Cojita cheese. Again, excellent!
Tonight will be nachos with more of the ramp salsa. :-)
For anybody debating how best to store ramps, this is what worked for me:
-- remove root ends and any onion-like mushy membrane
-- wash under cold-ish running water, careful to inspect both sides of the leaves for dirt (surprisingly time-consuming, no wonder ramps are pretty spendy in restaurants)
-- put the whole bunch (probably closer to 3lb, I think), still wet, water not shaken off, in a fairly thick kitchen towel, wrapped it fairly closely into a "log", ends open.
-- put in fridge (no room in my veggie drawer).
-- they came out perfectly "crispy", leaves fresh, no hint of wilting
With these results i think they'll be perfect for at least 4-5 days.
I've never heard of ramps before this weekend but they were all over the menu at the restaurant we went to last night and at the farmer's market today. I assumed they were spring onions when they tuned up in appetiser last night and they were indeed delicious.
I'm interested to find out more and cook them for myself, I love local/seasonal produce.