The annual & fleeting appearance of wild ramps at the Market is reason for celebration. We saw them this past Saturday and will see them this coming week, but then — who knows. Botanically, ramps are a type of foraged wild leek, but leeks are mild while ramps are uniquely pungent and flavorful. They are a burst of zing in dishes that shout “Spring is here!”
Try this duo of ramp recipes served together for a double dose of spring. And check out the recipe at the bottom for easy Ramp-Infused Oil.
Potato Ramp Soup
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium bunch ramps, bulbs & greens divided
- 1 large leek, trimmed, cleaned well, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- a pinch of dried marjoram
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- 6 cups water
- zest + juice of 1 small lemon
- 2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced to ½-inch cubes
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a 5-quart Dutch oven or stockpot melt butter over low heat. Finely chop ramp bulbs; reserve leaves. Once butter foam subsides, add ramp bulbs, leeks, carrots and marjoram to the pot. Sprinkle with a large pinch of salt; stir to coat in butter and sauté, over medium-low heat, until vegetables are softened and fragrant, about 7 – 8 minutes.
- Add water, 2 teaspoons of salt, and potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, partially blend soup. Add black pepper, taste and adjust salt. Bring soup back to a lively simmer. Chiffonade the ramp leaves and add to the soup. Cover, turn off heat, and allow to sit until ramp flavor has suffused the soup, but leaves are still bright green, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust flavors once more. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.
Quiche with Ramps, Mushrooms, and Brie
For the Crust
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- stick very cold butter cut into cubes
- 1 egg
- 1-2 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling
- 5 eggs
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 4 ramps finely diced, white and green parts + 5-6 whole ramps
- 2 ½ cups mushrooms sliced thin, plus 5 whole mushrooms
- ½ wheel of soft brie-style cheese diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Crust
- In a food processor combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse a few times to mix. Add butter and process until incorporated and textures is like wet sand.
- Whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water. With food processor running, drizzle the egg mixture into the batter. It should come together in the processor. If it’s too dry add a little more water, if too wet add a little more flour.
- Turn dough out onto plastic wrap and form into a disc. Chill for 30 minutes or freeze for about 15 minutes.
- Roll out the crust until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Gently drape pastry into an 11-inch non-stick tart pan. Press into the sides and using rolling pin or your hands, remove any excess from the edges.
- Chill your tart shell while you prepare the filling.
For the Filling
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine eggs and half and half in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- In a sauté pan add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and bring to medium heat. To this, add sliced and whole mushrooms and diced ramps. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 7-10 minutes or until mushrooms are softened and nearly all the liquid from the vegetables has evaporated.
- Distribute the mushrooms and ramps evenly over the bottom of the tart. Pour egg mixture into unbaked tart shell. Finally, arrange the diced brie evenly over the top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown.
- 1 bunch ramps
- 1 pint extra-virgin olive oil
- Remove the white portion of each ramp, reserving for another use. Roughly chop the green portions and place in a pint jar; cover with olive oil and place the lid on tightly. Shake jar and refrigerate for at least 1 week.
- Place oil and ramps in the blender and blend until pureed. For a more refined finish, strain oil through a cheesecloth. Makes 1 pint.
Cook’s Note: This is a great way to extend ramp season. Use the oil on a salad, or to cook some eggs or potatoes. Yum!