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Ramping Up For Spring April 30, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff, Rochester.
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I think I’m in love.  :D

With my new favorite spring vegetable – the RAMP.

There are just a few things that say, if nothing else, “SPRING IS HERE.”  Daffodils.  The red, red robin.

Then there are the first stalks of seasonal asparagus.  Spring, Easter, asparagus.  All synonyms.  :mrgreen:

And then there are garlic scapes – though that’s a treat for a little later in the season.  (I can hardly wait!)

And now, after last week’s trip to the public market, we bring you Spring in the form of ramps – wild leeks – spring onions – whatever you want to call them.

RAMPS, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

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Seriously.  They’re kind of like a cross between the mildest of leeks, some sort of gentle scallion, with a little leafy parsley thrown in.  Or something.  I don’t really know, actually, what their deal is, just that I frickin’ love them!

And it appears that we can store them just like herbs, that is, wash, lay out on paper towels, roll the toweled greens up, and wrap in plastic, a lá Alton Brown.

PhotobucketSo while we had planned a risotto featuring our ramps for dinner later this week, a “bunch” is plenty to play around with, and we wanted to give them a try sooner.  So I said to myself, “Self, why not add some ramps to some scrambled eggs for a nice Sunday breakfast?”

PhotobucketOf course, it doesn’t hurt that I am currently trying to perfect my egg-scrambling technique anyway – my mission is perfectly scrambled eggs – every time.  Big, soft curds, tender but not runny – just barely cooked eggs by the time they reach the table.  A couple of ramps are just the perfect excuse reason to try Yet Again.  ;)

So the first thing we did, after melting some butter in the the small-ish saute pan, was to, well, saute.  The ramps, to be exact.  I thinly sliced the bulbs and stems of the ramps, then did the same for the leaves.  I would tend to call that chiffonade, but I’m not sure I’ve ever chiffonaded anything other than basil before.  :shock:

PhotobucketCool.  Something new every day, huh?   :lol:

So I melted some butter in the pan, and sauteéd both the sliced ramp bulbs and the ramp-leaf chiffonade, just until the white bits were softened.

It took maybe 2-3 minutes, if I recall.  Remember, this is Sunday morning, and we have nothing but time.  8)

PhotobucketOnce we’ve deemed the ramps to be properly softened, I just dumped 5 fork-scrambled, lightly salted eggs into the pan.  (5 eggs = 3 for Peeps, 2 for me.  About.)  (Also, 1 Tablespoon of milk per egg.)  As I understand it, unlike omelets (that’s another post), for scrambled eggs, the idea is to keep the eggs moving. Cook’s Illustrated recommends using a spatula, and I’m willing to trust their judgment on most foody-type things.

PhotobucketStir and turn.  Keep the eggs moving, and keep them cooking.  I’m after nice, big curds, just barely cooked, so we want to keep the flame kind of high, and cook them fast.

When we take the eggs out of the skillet, we want them to still be a little wet – eggs overcook in, literally, the blink of an eye.

You know all about “carryover cooking” with meat – well, it works the same way for eggs.  Only more so.  :shock:

So, what’s for breakfast?  How about a couple of multi-grain sourdough English muffins with scrambled ramp eggs?

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So what’s your favorite lazy Sunday morning breakfast?

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Comments

1. Heather Solos - May 8, 2009

That sounds fantastic! Thank you so much for being a part of Fearless Fridays on Home-Ec101

Toy Lady - May 8, 2009

Thanks, Heather! I just found your site a couple of weeks ago, and I certainly plan to participate more!

2. ThatBobbieGirl - May 8, 2009

I really need to go down the hill and to our stream and pull up some of that stuff growing there — maybe some of them are ramps! My grandpa used to talk about picking wild ramps in West Virginia, but I’ve never had a single one!

Toy Lady - May 8, 2009

I had never had them, either, until just recently, and I love them!

I just finished what I had on tonight’s pizza – best topping EVER!

3. Heather - May 9, 2009

I have never heard of ramps before but those eggs you made look great. Maybe I can grow some ramps in the garden so I can try this out….I have no idea where to go buy some.

Toy Lady - May 9, 2009

Thanks, Heather, they were! :)

I’m not sure where ramps grow, but if you figure out how to grow them, let me know!

Do you have any farmers’ markets near you? Otherwise, here is a website that describes where to forage for them:

http://theforagerpress.com/fieldguide/aprilfd.htm

4. And a nice Chianti « Dark Side of the Fridge - July 16, 2009

[…] From what I understand, they’re the kind of thing you either love or hate – and, like ramps and garlic scapes,  they’re not readily available out-of-season.  So we grabbed them while […]


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