The Wife and I schlepped down to Union Square late Saturday morning and were happy we made the trip.
The market was gorgeous, flowers selling like hotcakes on the count of Mother’s Day.
And ramps! I found a guy, that’s all he was selling. I figured I’d buy a bunch and pickle the suckers. Which is what I did yesterday.
[Photo Credit: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]
Phil Hughes didn’t look to be horseshit today, his fastball was hitting 93-94 mph and he broke off a few biting curve balls, but everything was up and a couple of home runs by the Angels was enough to put the Yankees in a hole from which they could not climb out. C.J. Wilson looked relaxed and has an easy, appealing manner. When his center fielder made a nice catch, the replay showed Wilson break out in a wide, guileless smile. Oh, and he pitched well, too, mixing the soft stuff with a tight cutter in to the righties (after hitting the ball hard yesterday, Alex Rodriguez hit three weak ground balls against Wilson this afternoon). The Yankees left nine men on base.
This was one to forget even though it was a lovely day in the Bronx. The only thing worth noting was how well David Phelps pitched in relief. He gave up a run on one hit–a solo home run by Vernon Wells–worked quickly and threw the ball with confidence. His performance over 5.1 innings was worth savoring and it was nice to see him receive applause when he walked off the mound with two outs in the 9th.
Final score: Angels 7, Yanks 1.
Instead of dwelling on this one, check out these pictures I took this morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. The wife and I headed down early and the greens were amazing. So, this weekend gives salads, tuscan kale, and enough ramps to pickle.
And ramps! First week of ramps.
They’ll only be around a few more weeks. Time to get ’em while they are around.
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.