March 21, 2011

In anticipation of spring-- and Ramps!

Michigan's Spring has just barely poked her toe out from under the blanket of winter.  So when Shayne of fruitcake or nuts asked us to post about our favorite spring food it all had to come from memory.  As much as I'm enjoying tapping our maple trees what I really long for is the first green things sprouting up and one of the first is ramps!

In past years ramps have become something of a foodie cliche because of their rabid fans, but I think most of the adoration is well deserved.  Fresh and green with that pungent combined garlic/onion flavor, who could hate this gift that pops up from under the leaf litter.  My favorite part is the leafy greens.  Like garlic scapes, they have a verdent flavor that I love.  Here is my favorite quick meal to make with them.

Ramps and Beans 

Rinse and spin or pat dry a bunch of ramps.  Chop your ramp stems and bulbs separately from your greens.  Add the chopped bulbs and stems to a pan with a couple of glugs of good olive oil and salt and pepper.  Cook until softened.  Add in about two cups of cooked white beans (navy or cannelini) and cook to warm up the beans.  Add in the ramp greens and cook just until they are tender.  Add a splash of lemon juice, more olive oil and more salt and pepper to taste.  Great served with a fried egg on top or spooned onto crusty bread.

*See the other favorite spring foods on the group blog for Michigan Lady Food Bloggers at the end of this month.
**I'll also be remaking these Buckwheat Crepes with Ramps this year, but this time around I'm going to hunt down a wheat-free all buckwheat crepe recipe. 
***And since I have no pictures of the food, here's a little video of Penny pushing around her toy shopping cart.  (Please ignore the voice over at the end contributed by her annoying older brother.)