The mad rush for ramps is akin to Black Friday deals. They happen quickly, tend to be hectic and full of elbowing, and if you miss out you’ve got to wait till the next year rolls around. I was walking by the Union Square Farmer’s Market two weeks ago when I saw unusually long lines at some of the booths, and then I saw the signs: “WE HAVE RAMPS!”
If you aren’t familiar with this Allium, a ramp is a wild leek and has a quick season right at the beginning of spring. It’s versatile and delicious. They’re a little garlicky, a little oniony, and cross somewhere between savory and sweet. We love them grilled up with a little olive oil and salt and eat tons while they’re in season.
When my cousin’s girlfriend told me she was going foraging for ramps last weekend and asked if I wanted some, I answered with an emphatic yes! (Also, how cool…foraging for ramps?!)
The most annoying part of a ramp? Just like a leek it needs to be seriously cleaned before using. Especially when they’ve just been pulled up from the ground and still have the dirt attached to them.
Totally worth it, even if it took the better part of a half-hour to get these cleaned!
I’m a big fan of quiche – both for eating and baking. Making your own crust isn’t necessary, especially if you’re short on time. There are so many good frozen and pre-made crusts out there.
Though, I really love making dough and pastry so this was worth the extra time. I also like a thinner quiche. If I’ve got a pie or something in a crust at home, it’s not going to last long. A shorter crust at least helps ensure that I won’t be eating too much at once. ..Cook’s logic?
My friend, who foraged for the ramps (again, foraging, so awesome) proposed a barter for the ramps I was getting. Instead of money she asked for a quiche which is how this post came to be.
I firmly believe we should all be exchanging/bartering more often.
The combination of cream, eggs, cheese, vegetables, and some basic spices goes a long way. It’s incredibly satisfying, is great warmed or room temp, and can be eaten any time of day. For instance, I had a piece for dinner and for breakfast! See how that works? Quiche: the all day, any day food.
If you’re on the ramp train this season, what delicious things have you been creating with them?
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s lunchtime and there’s a piece of quiche calling.
- 1 9-inch pie crust, homemade or prepared
- 2-3 bunches of ramps cleaned thoroughly and dried
- 1 cup of peas fresh or frozen
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup romano or parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2.5 Tbsp butter
- ⅛ tsp grated nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 °F
- Blanch peas in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes (if fresh, blanch longer till cooked). Remove and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking and cool them. Take them out and let them dry.
- Finely chop the ramps (stems and greens included!). Heat up a sauté pan and add the butter. Once hot but not browning, add the ramps and sauté for 4 minutes or so, until the greens are soft and smell amazing. Add the peas, salt and pepper to taste, and cook 1 minute more. Take off the heat and let cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, nutmeg, and cheese. Mix in the ramps and peas until thoroughly combined.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (to catch leaks) and place your prepped pie crust on top. Carefully pour the mixture in. Any leftover filling can be poured into a buttered ramekin and baked alongside the quiche. That way you get to taste your finished quiche filling without have to cut a slice before you serve it!
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a knife or toothpick comes out clean, the quiche doesn't jiggle, and the top has turned a golden color.