We’re looking to seize the spring for all it’s worth, lest summer come too quickly, and that means ramps, the glorious, leafy little things that will soon be raining down upon us thanks to our friendly farmers and foragers upstate, who say the greenmarket will soon be glowing green with wild leeks.
But in the last few years, ramp season has spiraled out of control, and so today, in honor of the holiday of fools, we offer you something a bit different than our usual Cookbook of the Week entry: a full-on ramp experience comprised of the worst ramp recipes on the internet.
You’ll need to begin on the right foot, which at any sophisticated dinner means at least one dip and one pate, so:
Ramp canned salmon pate:
Nothing says fancy like salmon, but if you lack time to make home-cured gravlax (in this case, since it’s ramp season, you’ll want to substitute ramps for dill) simply puree your ramps with premium canned fish for an easy pate that’s sure to impress. For an extra touch of color and class, top it off with a spoonful of fresh salmon roe and a sprinkle of fresh diced ramps.
Couple that with a decadent bowl of:
Guacamole with bacon, grilled ramps, and roasted tomatillos:
This will go beautifully with your fine pate. And who can resist dressing up boring old guac with not just bacon and green salsa, but also expensive, hand-foraged, only-available-for-one-month baby-green leaves to impart a final layer of delicate flavor.
Excellent work. Onto the first course.
Grilled oysters with chermoula and ramps:
We usually take our oysters raw, but it’s spring and we can’t wait to grill, so throw them over the fire for a fun change of pace. And, since they’re best with mignonette, but we’re feeling springy and different, make a nice little ramp sauce to go with. Just make sure you char the hell out of them on the grill while you’re popping the oysters.
To sop up the sea-soaked oyster brine, a bread course:
Buttermilk ramp biscuits:
No spring meal is complete without a bread course, and because the only bread better than biscuits is biscuits with ramps. Carpe ramp, amigo.
And for the main event, keeping this as inclusive and multicultural as possible, onward to Asia, brave traveler!
Beef stir-fry with ramps and savory sauce: This dish is really a catch-all umami explosion that no refined palate could deny. First, you’ll need Sriracha, sesame oil, teriyaki, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin, soy sauce again, and sherry. The rest is just details. Beef and whatever vegetables you have left over in your CSA box, but make sure you’ve got the ramps because they’re the key ingredient; the note of nuance that tips the balance and transforms the dish being a salty mess to a true Cinderella. Best served to friends in court and hung juries.
To follow that up, you’ll need a semi-savory dessert, and taking full advantage of the season, you’ll need to ramp it up during dessert as well, thus:
Home made ramp ice cream:
It’s the ultimate end to the ultimate spring dinner party. Please feel free to let us know how it goes in the comments!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 1, 2014