Recipes, Salads & Sides, Vegetables

Asparagus Ramp Sauté

Ramp Asparagus Saute

Two vegetables that have become synonymous with the early days of spring are asparagus and ramps. Asparagus has always been a favorite of mine. Another vegetable I avoid out-of-season, as it never tastes the same. But when those crisp tender stalks hit the Greenmarkets, I’m usually roasting, sautéing or steaming at least 2-3 times a week. Overindulgence almost makes me grow sick of asparagus, as June rolls around, leaving me satisfied for another year to come.

But ramps. How is it that until about 2 years ago, I never even knew what these beautiful wispy greens were?! I first discovered them at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. With no idea of what I was getting into and no plan, I purchased a few bunches. Still, my favorite preparation is soft scrambled eggs with sharp cheddar. Last year I even attempted my own gnocchi. Pretty much any recipe that could involve ramps, in my household, does.

With such a fleeting window of harvest for both these amazing vegetables, what better than combine them into a single dish? The addition of mushrooms added some heartiness, still appropriate as the days continue from winter to summer. (Because really, do we get much spring these days?). Plus a dash of lemon for brightness. This is a dish you need to make now. Because in two weeks, you probably won’t be able to.

Ramp Asparagus Saute

Asparagus Ramp Sauté (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends removed and sliced into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 c sliced cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 large bunch of ramps, thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add the asparagus and mushrooms, cooking until asparagus is bright green and just tender. Meanwhile, zest and juice the lemon.

Stir ramps into the asparagus until just wilted. Add lemon juice, zest and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Main Dishes, Pasta & Risottos, Recipes, Vegetarian

For the Love of Ramps

Fresh Ramps

It’s practically impossible to avoid the ramp conversation. They’re everywhere. Literally. Once a little known foraged plant, ramps have taken America by storm, appearing on nearly every menu, in overabundance. The tragedy of the situation is ramps still are wild, foraged plants. They have yet to be cultivated for farming and with improper harvest, their growth can be threatened. While I crave them like crazy during the early spring months, I’ve avoided them at restaurants and stores unless I’m certain that they have been sustainably harvested. Which pretty much leaves me with a few select restaurants or waking up at the crack of dawn to get my hands on some at the greenmarkets before the masses descend. So for the few times I can get my hands on them, they need to be part of a very special meal.

Continue reading “For the Love of Ramps”

Main Dishes, Pasta & Risottos, Recipes

Quinoa “Risotto” with Ramps & Bacon

Ramp Quinoa Risotto (1)

I’ve noticed a trend lately of risotto like dishes that skip the traditional main ingredient of Arborio rice. In restaurants I’ve seen creamy orzo cooked down with greens. The blogs and Pinterest fill with barley or quinoa options. In my eyes risotto is a creamy rice dish, slowly simmered with broth and/or wine, onions and other veggies. But really, why does it have to be rice? I’m sure there’s history to the meal, and many of my Italian friends might be jumping through their computer screen, ready to strangle me. How dare I even for a moment consider altering the perfectly classic dish? How could I possibly make it better? I never claimed better, just different. Food is meant to evolve, to be played with. So today, I’m playing with risotto.

Continue reading “Quinoa “Risotto” with Ramps & Bacon”