Twice in one week!
And no I’m not talking about that, you flock of dirty birdies, although I do intend to see the Hubby this evening so there’s a chance.
Today though, I’m talking food and the fact I’m sharing two recipes in a single week. Back to back posts in fact, which is a rarity for me, like an exotic bird with fancy pink and purple plumage, chilling in the streets of Cleveland. Another rarity is Ramps.
(The Ramps are coming. The Ramps are coming.)
I know, I know I can already hear you saying, “Ramp What? Ramp Who? Rampalicious? Hark, what ramps hither yon?” It’s possible the Medieval twist is all in my head, but I do understand the question because I was in the same boat two years ago when Ramps first made an appearance at my farmers market.
When I initially spotted them, I was intrigued and eager to try something new. Suffice to say, I’m glad I went for it because these days I wait, none too patiently I might add, for their short season to come. I will also willingly tackle someone to get that last batch of Ramps, a bold statement considering my normal non-violent stance.
Wikipedia calls them “Allium tricoccum,” or wild leeks; an early Spring vegetable, which makes a repeat performance annually.
Me, I think ramps are comparable to manna from heaven. They’re the love child of Garlic and Onion, although it’s safe to say, garlic was the top performer that day. They are sometimes, and jokingly I’m sure, referred to as a West Virginia breath mint. I call them the best thing since sliced bread.
From a flavor standpoint, Ramps can be a real kick in the cojones, in a good way of course. Granted this is easy for me to say since I don’t actually have literal cojones (my mental ones are huge though), and I’d respond with try a ramp and you’ll see. You’ll also go back for seconds and thirds.
Now that we all know what a Ramp is, it’s high time to talk about how you can get your mitts on these magnificent and garlicky greens? Personally, I’ve only ever seen them at the farmers market, although I’m sure if my CSA started a month and half earlier, we’d get them there too. Scope out local foodie establishments to see whether ramps are available in your area and then go get yourself some. Don’t be greedy though because they’re in danger of being over foraged and if your promiscuous behavior causes my beloved ramps to ultimately disappear, I will be none too pleased and might have to take action. I will throw down for some ramps.
All of this leads me to our final point of the day: “I’ve got my ramps, I’m excited for the garlicky kick in my cojones. Now how do I eat them?”
The answer: Let Them Have Soup.
Potato Ramp Soup with Cheddar and Chives.
Cake is overrated anyway (I will deny ever saying this).
Given my love of all things Tater related, Spud Soup is hands down, bar none, my absolute favorite. I make it more often and regularly than any other soup in my rotation. If there is anything I’m a connoisseur of, Potato Soup would be it, and this bowl with ramps beats out the competition, even my own, Every. Single. Time.
In fact, this recipe and these pictures are actually from the Spring of 2014 when ramps were running wild through my kitchen. I made a double batch of it then and froze the vast majority, eagerly anticipating the tantalizing taste of ramps mid-winter, which never happened because the Hubby and I defrosted and polished off all it that very same month. It was too good to wait, and patience is not my strong suit.
Twice in one week though; that I can do.
- 3 Tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Ramp Stems, the white part*
- 4 Tbsps. Dry White Wine or Cooking Sherry
- 4 large Potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 cups Vegetable Stock
- 2/3 cup Ramp Greens, the leaves*
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. White Pepper
- 1 1/2 cups milk of choice, I used Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese plus 1 Tbsp. for garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh Chives, plus 1 Tbsp. for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a large and deep saucepan over medium heat. Add ramps stems and cook for a few minutes until translucent, about three minutes.
- Add white wine or sherry and cook for thirty seconds until it evaporates, stirring the entire time. Add the diced potatoes, vegetable stock, ramp greens (leaves), salt and pepper and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and let cook another twenty five minutes until potatoes are tender. To test tenderness, jab one of the potato pieces with a fork. If it pierces easily without any give, you're ready to go.
- Remove from heat, add one and a half cups of milk and cream the soup using an immersion blender or by adding it to a blender in batches. Once creamy, stir in cheddar and chives.
- Garnish individual bowls with additional cheddar and chives.
- Store whole ramps with the root ball still intact in your fridge in a glass with just enough water to cover the root ball.
- *To prepare the ramps, cut off the root ball at the base of the stem. The white stalk like part is the ramp stem. The flat green tops are the leaves.
Have you ever tried ramps before? If so, what’s your favorite way to consume them? If you’ve got a recipe, please feel free to share the link in the comments below. ♫ You can do it. Put your Ramp into it. ♫