I was thrilled to find the first ramps of the season last weekend. No, I was not scavenging in the woodlands of the Northeast; rather, I found them in an attractive display at DiBruno Bros. market near Rittenhouse Square in Philly.
These beautiful greens have the fragrance of garlic and the taste of onion – a perfect combination. The vibrant green leaves as well as the deep rose and white stalks are edible. Simply cut off the roots and rinse thoroughly before cooking.
My favorite preparation, which permits the ramps to shine, is to sauté them in olive oil until tender. Then add a pinch of French salt.
I served half the bunch last night as the vegetable alongside Pork Milanese and Jasmine rice. I’m already looking forward to more of my favorite spring greens tomorrow night!
The perfect way to celebrate the mild weather today was serving pasta with two springtime ingredients – asparagus and prosciutto – for dinner. The pink and green in this dish signaled the upcoming change in seasons.
To prepare this dinner for two, thinly slice five asparagus spears on an angle and cut five prosciutto slices into strips. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt when the water comes to a rolling boil. I used egg spaghetti that cooks in six minutes, so as soon as I put the pasta in the water, I melted several tablespoons of butter and extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick pan. I added the asparagus and prosciutto to the bubbling butter and oil and stirred while sautéing. Depending on the pasta you choose, you may want to start sautéing the asparagus and prosciutto later to prevent overcooking it.
When the pasta is ready, transfer it to the pan, adding several tablespoons of the pasta water and more butter if necessary. Stir the asparagus and prosciutto into the spaghetti, and add freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice. Serve with some fresh cracked pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.
Happy Daylight Saving Time!