Ramps and Gruyere Omelette

rampsI know for sure that Spring has arrived when I am served an omelette with ramps (wild baby leeks) and Gruyere cheese for breakfast.    Now, I have eaten hundreds of omelettes, but springtime ramps make all the difference in the world.  For those unfamiliar with ramps, they grow along the Atlantic seaboard from April through May.  

Generally hand-picked, ramps can generally be purchased in most specialty/organic groceries in the early part of Spring. They have a distinctive taste that is somewhat of a cross between a new onion and a mild garlic.  Found below is a rather ancient recipe from the New York Times for a ramps and Gruyère omelette.

Ramps and Gruyère Omelette

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 4 large eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs of butter
  • 1/2 cup of chopped ramps
  • 1 ounce Gruyère, grated

Preparation

  • Crack the eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and beat lightly with a fork
  • Heat an omelette pan over medium heat and add the butter.
  • When the butter begins to sizzle add the chopped ramps and cook for 30 seconds or so until softened.
  • Pour the eggs into the pan and gently incorporate the ramps
  • As the eggs begin to set, tilt the pan and and lift the edges of the omelette to allow any of the uncooked egg to settle to the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook for another minute or so and sprinkle the grated Gruyère over the omelette
  • With a spatula, fold the omelette into thirds and tip the omelette onto a platter seam-side down
  • Serve immediately

Great way to kick off spring with this delicious omelette

Savory Ham and Gruyere Bread

Many years ago our good friends Anna and Claudio Allais treated us to a variation of a delightful savory bread that must have its origins in France.  This recipe for Savory Ham and Gruyère Bread resurfaced in a recent New York Times article.  I’m sure that Anna has her own twist to this delightful appetizer that we now serve often for guests.  It also works well with a nice comfort soup like minestrone.  The photograph is from  food4wibowo which published an interesting blog post on the New York Times article.

Savory Ham and Gruyère Bread

Ingredients (makes 20 slices 3/8″ thick) 

Unsalted butter, softened, for brushing pan
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 cup of milk (whole milk please – indulge yourself)
1/3 olive oil
6 ounces baked ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/4 cups)
6 ounces Gruyère, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cup) or half grated and half cut in 1/4-inch dice.

Preparation

  1. Center a rack in the oven and heat to 350°.  Generously brush a loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour with baking powder, salt and pepper
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk egggs, then whisk in milk and olive oil.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold wet ingredients into dry until barely mixed.  Fold in ham and cheese.
  5. Scrape batter into loaf pan and smooth top.
  6. Bake loaf until golden and toothpick insered in center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 40 to 50 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a rack to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to release.  Turn out loaf onto rack to firm up before slicing, about 30 minutes.

We are looking forward to sharing this recipe with our good friends Lord Cheseline of Maiden Lot Farm and Mary Ann at their palatial estate on the banks of the Chester River in Maryland this Labor Day weekend.