Recipes 05.10.18

Seasons by the Sea: Tracking the Fleeting and Elusive Ramp
Don't try this at home. The strong taste of ramps is a bit much for the pesto, which our food writer said was an expensive mistake. Laura Donnelly

Ramp Chimichurri

Go ahead and make pesto with ramps but I would suggest stretching them with other greens like spinach, watercress, or parsley. They are also good simply grilled alongside asparagus with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Here is a recipe for chimichurri, try this on grilled meats or vegetables.

 

1 bunch ramps (about 10-12)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

 

Separate leaves from bulbs and chop both coarsely. Put bulbs in food processor and blend until minced. Add rest of ingredients and puree until smooth.

 

Ramp Butter

If you grill the ramps beforehand, this will give the butter a milder, smoky flavor.

Makes 1 cup

 

2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, softened

1/2 lb. ramps, minced

Salt and pepper

 

Cream butter in a mixer with paddle attachment. Add minced ramps and salt and pepper. Mix until well blended.

Transfer mixture to waxed paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap, and roll into a cylinder, twisting ends to seal. Wrap this in foil and either refrigerate for a few weeks or freeze for up to six months. 

 

Asparagus Ramp Soup

Serves four to six. 

 

2 tsp. neutral oil

1 bunch (approx. 12) ramps, cleaned and chopped, bulbs separated from green tops

1 medium waxy potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 lb. asparagus, woody ends removed, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Splash of white wine

Salt and pepper

4 cups vegetable stock

Lime juice to taste

 

Sauté ramp bulbs in oil for a few minutes, then add potato, asparagus, and cayenne. Sauté a few minutes more, then add white wine. Cook down for a few minutes, until asparagus is bright green. Season with salt and pepper.

Add stock and cook soup for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. 

Puree in blender, adding lime juice to taste.

Serve topped with homemade croutons and/or extra blanched asparagus tips.