"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Taster’s Cherce


Not an onion and not exactly garlic, it’s the spring thing: Ramps! 

From chef Yoshi Yamada at Gourmet.com:

I have not put ramps in my pipe, but I have smoked them—and also roasted, sautéed, blanched, pickled, braised, and puréed them. I have eaten them raw and dirty, and I have cleaned so many in a row that I almost wished for winter again. This year I may take a few home to put under my pillow, just because…my precious. I’ll buy a little grill and set it up on my fire escape, coating the ramps in olive oil, salt, and pepper and grilling them until the white flesh is soft and smoky but still toothsome, the leaves limp and folded in on themselves, tender, wet, and charred at the edges. Then I will eat them—right from the grill, with a little fresh bread if I can wait, but probably just by the handful, with nothing else.

At Babbo, one way we prepare ramps is by heating a sauté pan until the olive oil is just beginning to smoke. We pull the pan off the flame and toss in the ramps, shorn of their leaves. We hear the sizzle, see the spattering oil, and toss them once or twice, calming the pan before placing it back on the flame. We sear them until the whites are blistered, brown, and soft. We add garlic to the pan to amplify that flavor, toasting it to make it taste nutty. After 6 minutes and 30 seconds in boiling water, we add 4 oz of linguine—supple but still al dente—to the pan. We throw in breadcrumbs for texture and add the julienned raw ramp leaves, which wilt in the steam of the pasta and bring a brightness of color and flavor to the dish. We toss everything a few times before plating and then grate Pecorino Romano over the top, so that it melts slightly by the time the dish makes its way onto the table. It may be my favorite pasta ever.

The recipe.

The result:

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Taster's Cherce

Tags:  gourmet  ramps

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1 ms october   ~  Apr 27, 2010 12:42 pm

i don't think i have ever had ramps. certainly not knowingly. sounds interesting though.

i really wish i could like pasta without a substantial sauce, but i haven't really found a sauceless version yet that i really liked.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 27, 2010 12:54 pm

I heard so much about ramps that when I finally tried them I was underwhelmed. They don't last long, maybe a month, if that, every spring. They are good, but subtle. If you can find them, try them as a sub for garlic or onion in a pasta dish.

3 ms october   ~  Apr 27, 2010 1:15 pm

[2] thanks for the recommendation. i'll go to one of the markets this week and see what i can find.

4 rbj   ~  Apr 27, 2010 3:31 pm

Hmm, never heard of ramps before, have to give them a try.

BTW, any good beet recipes?

5 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 27, 2010 3:32 pm

4) shoot me an e-mail and I'll give you one.

6 rbj   ~  Apr 27, 2010 3:46 pm

[5] Done.

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