More Ramps: Ramps with Poached Eggs

bon appetit poached eggsThey say that getting to like ramps is an acquired taste, but for me it was love at first smell. Short of a nice cup of coffee, there is nothing better than the smell or ramps gently sautéing in butter in the kitchen. This delightful recipe for Ramps and Poached Eggs served over toast comes from a recent Bon Appétit.   The recipe is quoted in its entirety below, but just follow the hyperlinks and you can see how they do it on an embedded video:

Poached Eggs on Toast with Ramps

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ramps
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 slices ½”-thick country-style bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese, room temperature
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preparation

  1. Cut dark-green leaves from ramps and slice crosswise 1” thick; slice bulbs and red stems crosswise ¼” thick.
  2. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add bulbs and stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 5–8 minutes. Add tops and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 2” water to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer and add vinegar. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then gently slide egg into water. Repeat with remaining eggs, waiting until whites of eggs in water are opaque before adding the next egg (about 30 seconds apart). Poach until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels as they are done.
  4. Toast bread, brush with 2 Tbsp. oil, and season with kosher salt. Spread toasts with goat cheese and top with ramps and eggs. Drizzle with more oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

Editor’s Note:  If you have issues with goat cheese, you can substitute it with something more to your liking, however, the goat cheese is a nice counter-balance to the ramps.  Also, we generally use Ezekiel bread which is lower in carbs and can generally be found in the frozen goods section at most Whole Foods.

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

Batali’s Spaghetti with Ramps

spaghetti with rampsYes, the spring ramps (wild baby leeks) is drawing to a close so why not step up to Mario Batali’s spaghetti with ramps.    I am a big fan of Batali, but I do think he can be a bit heavy-handed when it comes to pasta.   I realize that I am in a minority when it comes to criticizing the “good” Mario, but I do find that “less” is sometimes “more” when it comes to accentuating flavor of the ingredients.   In any event, the Batali and Bastianich revival of Port Chester now provides a great feeding ground for starved gourmands in Greenwich.

Found below is a very simple recipe which accentuates the taste of ramps in a way that we can all applaud.    I have not tried this recipe which I happened to pick up at the Tarry Market in Port Chester, NY

Mario Batali’s Spaghetti with Ramps

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguini (serves 4
  • 3 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces of fresh ramps
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1-2 Tbs of chili flakes for some kick
  • 2 Tbs of breadcrumbs for texture

Preparation

  • Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 Tbs of salt.  Add the spaghetti and follow instructions and cook until al dente.
  • Heat olive oil in a 12 to 14-inch saute pan over medium high heat.
  • Separate ramps by the white root ends and the leafy green top.  Add root ends to the pan and saute until tender
  • Add salt and chili flakes.
  • At the very end, add the greens and saute until wilted.  Drain pasta and add it to the saute pan.  Toss gently to coat the pasta with the sauce.
  • Divide pasta evenly among four warmed plates.  Drizzle olive oil over top and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.