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hotMeat

Ramps: The Topic

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Yes. that was twelve bunches for five bucks. They're on the small side, so I'll be making them all.

My uberfoodie cousin Cort arrived to visit my mother in the hospital, and he made a suggestion that made me change my plan. He, like me, has never tasted a ramp, and I discussed the bacon fat sautee method. He said: "The only thing better than bacon fat is duck fat." Ta Dah!

I'm situated withing a ten minute walk of a fabulous butcher (where I bought the veal scallopini this morning.) I've just returned with a comfit duck leg and a pint of rendered duck fat (a pint for five bucks -- that's affordable luxury!)

So, I'm going to sautee them in a little duck fat, cook up the leg, and garnish with the meat. Is there any way this can be bad?


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Good grief. My local farmers market in Orillia, ON. has them for 50 cents (Canadian) a bunch. I buy several bunches each week.

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OK, ramps sauteed in duck fat with comfit duck is scandalous. (Especially accompanied as they were with potatoes fried in duck fat.) I'm offf to rest my arteries. Wiggling into a little black dress tomorrow might be a challenge.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Last night I had slow-cooked ramps with asparagus and prosciutto, tossed over lettuce to wilt and dressed with an oil/lemon juice/balsamic vinaigrette. I was pretty darned pleased with it, but Maggie, you've just changed my dinner plans. No confit of duck around here, but I think I'll stop collecting the duck fat to make confit, and use it on the rest of the ramps and potatoes instead. Wowza.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I asked about ramps today at the market - apparently everyone asks for them and nobody has them. Here in Atlantic Canada they are a wild and protected species, so picking them is against the law.

Here's what a local expert had to say (Curator of Botany, Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History) when I asked about sticking some in my garden:

It is considered a species-at-risk and as such has some legal protection. The plants and their habitats are protected from disturbance. Collecting them to place in a home garden would not be ethical nor acceptable. In Nova Scotia, this plant is at the northeastern edge of its range. In Canada, it used to be more common in Ontario and Quebec, but the overcollection and destruction of its habitat have placed it on species watch lists in all jurisdictions. . . As botanists we are concerned with maintaining the native flora as it exists and not promoting the uninformed transplanting of rare and endangered species, for personal use nor to permit land development

So for now it looks like"regular" leeks for me.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I made a sort of spanakopita last weekend. Ramps and haloumi cheese ( with a little bacon tossed in for luck ) wrapped in phyllo. I pop a couple in the toaster oven and enjoy. I also used a half a bunch in a pot of onion soup, they made a great addition to it!!

Ramps are a wonderful re-introduction to the fresh food of summer!

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It is considered a species-at-risk and as such has some legal protection. The plants and their habitats are protected from disturbance. Collecting them to place in a home garden would not be ethical nor acceptable.  In Nova Scotia, this plant is at the northeastern edge of its range. In Canada, it used to be more common in Ontario and Quebec, but the overcollection and destruction of its habitat have placed it on species watch lists in all jurisdictions. . . As botanists we are concerned with maintaining the native flora as it exists and not promoting the cnor to permit land development

So for now it looks like"regular" leeks for me.

Holy Heck! I had no idea.

The "Ramp Lady" in the market in Ottawa has her stand only Thursday, Friday and Saturday so maybe she's spending the rest of the week gathering the endangered little busters. But in no way does it seem to be on the a list here in the Ottawa Valley.

In fact we bought more today and sauteed them with quick-blanched fiddleheads in beaucoup butter. It made me think that

uninformed transplanting of rare and endangered species, for personal use
may not be such a terrible thing.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Ramps, ramps, read all about it:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0517/p02s01-usgn.html

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-133.html

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/staff/jmdavis/ramp.html

Looks like some people have their heads screwed on straight and are trying to cultivate them, including at least one university (NCSU).


Edited by A Patric (log)

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It is considered a species-at-risk and as such has some legal protection. The plants and their habitats are protected from disturbance. Collecting them to place in a home garden would not be ethical nor acceptable.  In Nova Scotia, this plant is at the northeastern edge of its range. In Canada, it used to be more common in Ontario and Quebec, but the overcollection and destruction of its habitat have placed it on species watch lists in all jurisdictions. . . As botanists we are concerned with maintaining the native flora as it exists and not promoting the cnor to permit land development

So for now it looks like"regular" leeks for me.

Holy Heck! I had no idea.

The "Ramp Lady" in the market in Ottawa has her stand only Thursday, Friday and Saturday so maybe she's spending the rest of the week gathering the endangered little busters. But in no way does it seem to be on the a list here in the Ottawa Valley.

In fact we bought more today and sauteed them with quick-blanched fiddleheads in beaucoup butter. It made me think that

uninformed transplanting of rare and endangered species, for personal use
may not be such a terrible thing.

I believe it is a criminal offense to pick these in Quebec... It is clearly not in Ontario as I have seen them sold at the By Market in Ottawa, the St-Lawrence Market in Toronto and in another small market in Kingston.

A few decades ago, people were pickling them in Quebec and selling them in farmers' markets. Since it can take 7 years for these plants to reproduce, they went alomost extinct in the south of the province. I have heard that things are much better now.

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I have been a very non-ethical cook recently... for my partner's first mother's day (we have a one month old baby) I cooked an appetizer of foie gras with ramps and morels.

gallery_52525_4650_181053.jpg

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It is considered a species-at-risk and as such has some legal protection. The plants and their habitats are protected from disturbance. Collecting them to place in a home garden would not be ethical nor acceptable. ...

The "Ramp Lady" in the market in Ottawa has her stand only Thursday, Friday and Saturday so maybe she's spending the rest of the week gathering the endangered little busters... It made me think that

uninformed transplanting of rare and endangered species, for personal use
may not be such a terrible thing.

I believe it is a criminal offense to pick these in Quebec...Since it can take 7 years for these plants to reproduce, they went alomost extinct in the south of the province. I have heard that things are much better now.

Increasing urbanization has also diminished supplies of a plant that once ran rampant across much of North America.

In fact, the wild leek inspired the name of Maggiecat's beloved Chicago. The city takes its name from the Menomini's word for ramps: "pikwute sikakushia" or "skunk plant". The Windy City grew in land beside Lake Michigan rich in ramps and therefore called "CicagaWuni" or "shikako", i.e. "skunk place".

In Tennessee's national parks, I believe, there are laws preventing visitors from gathering ramps. However, if they grow on your own land...


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I have been a very non-ethical cook recently... for my partner's first mother's day (we have a one month old baby) I cooked an appetizer of foie gras with ramps and morels.

gallery_52525_4650_181053.jpg

Wow what a dish - those are three items I have never had but am thinking a lot about recently.

Why don't you just shave some white truffle on top and call it a day!


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I have been a very non-ethical cook recently... for my partner's first mother's day (we have a one month old baby) I cooked an appetizer of foie gras with ramps and morels.

gallery_52525_4650_181053.jpg

Wow what a dish - those are three items I have never had but am thinking a lot about recently.

Why don't you just shave some white truffle on top and call it a day!

You are probably in the middle of the morel season in Nova Scotia right now... you might find yourself lucky if you go for a walk (look under poplar trees). I pick them so it is not necessarily a luxury ingredient to me (and those were from last year). Ramps are fairly cheap in the market here. Foie gras is a little bit more expensive but we only bought a small amount (not a whole liver! :blink: ). As you can see, I cooked everything in a very simple manner... nothing too fancy :wink:

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You are probably in the middle of the morel season in Nova Scotia right now... you might find yourself lucky if you go for a walk (look under poplar trees). I pick them so it is not necessarily a luxury ingredient to me (and those were from last year). Ramps are fairly cheap in the market here. Foie gras is a little bit more expensive but we only bought a small amount (not a whole liver!  :blink: ). As you can see, I cooked everything in a very simple manner... nothing too fancy  :wink:

I asked for wild morels at the Halifax market last weekend with no success (same for ramps) We're going to the Annapolis valley next weekend, I know there are some mushroom fiends at the Wolfville market. I am a bit hesitant to reap wild mushrooms - I don't mind hallucinating, I just want to avoid death for a while.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I bought quite a few ramps on eBay, and even given the cost of postage and the loss of some of them in transit, it was comparable to what I paid at the Farmer's Market in Indiana.

So far, I froze some, pickled some, and had some with fried potatoes last night. Late breakfast (okay, it's lunchtime now, so really late) today is ramps and potatoes fried in bacon drippings with a fried egg.

I made caldo verde last night with a bunch of them instead of the onion/garlic, and will have that later (I like caldo verde better when it's been in the fridge overnight) -- making it made me think that ramps would be terrific in champ or colcannon, too.

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Tell me more about pickling them, please!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I just did it like pickled garlic (just the bulbs), something I do by ear (this recipe looks right, though I use a less sugar and no celery seed). Since I don't go through all the canning procedures, I keep it in the fridge. I haven't done this with ramps before, but I happened to be out of pickled garlic, so I figured ... why not.

(I generally chop up pickled garlic to use as a condiment on red beans and rice, or to put on a sandwich, especially cold homemade roast beef.)

Since that post, I've also made a batch of puttanesca sauce -- though the kalamata olives really drowned out the ramps! -- and chopped up a ramp to put it in a little tupperware container (the ones the size of shotglasses) of olive oil, along with a little rosemary and a couple peppercorns. That's in the fridge too, because I don't know if ramps have the same botulism concerns as garlic. I'm figuring that'll go on steak sandwiches with pepperoncini.

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As for raising your own duck or goose for foie gras... hummm...  :blink:  maybe it is not such a good idea... In any case, here in Canada, we are blessed with a large number of small foie gras farms (and one or two larger ones), particularly in Quebec.

I wonder what Canada Goose foie gras would be like. Lets be honest, they are in the same rank as pigeons, seagulls and starlings when it comes to overpopulated birds.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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As for raising your own duck or goose for foie gras... hummm...  :blink:  maybe it is not such a good idea... In any case, here in Canada, we are blessed with a large number of small foie gras farms (and one or two larger ones), particularly in Quebec.

I wonder what Canada Goose foie gras would be like. Lets be honest, they are in the same rank as pigeons, seagulls and starlings when it comes to overpopulated birds.

Never tried starlings and seagulls but pigeon taste fantastic :wink: .

I have been told that Canada Geese are less fat than their domestic cousins but are nonetheless very good... I am not sure I'd like to catch one to force feed it though since they are a bit too agressive for my delicate skin.

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Chicken leg wrapped in bacon, with bacon used to hold sliced green chiles and ramps in place; tasted good, but not crazy about the texture of the ramps cooked this way.

Two more things to keep the ramp flavor around a little longer, since they're starting to wilt, both with minced ramps --

Ramp mojo: ramps, lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, a couple slices of chile

Ramp vinaigrette: ramps, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tiny bit of Dijon mustard. This is awaiting the arrival of my Penzey's shipment since I happen to be out of most dried herbs right now, but I'm figuring I'll throw a little marjoram in.

It'd make sense to use ramps in herbs salees, too.

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Tell me more about pickling them, please!

At the end of the season, especially when the weather is hot and the ramps grow bigger with tougher leaves, West Virginians make ramp mustard.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Bump for the 2009 season.

My ramps to-do list:

Ramp and meatball pizza (I made the meatballs and sauce today, the same day the first ramps arrived in the mail)

Pickled ramp bulbs -- I'm simply going to put the bulbs in the same jar of vinegar last year's were in; these are a must in my pimento cheese, so the last thing I want is to come up short next January, when it's time for pimento cheese and country ham sandwiches

Ramp macaroni and cheese

Ramp bacon burger (that's probably dinner tonight; I'll cook the bacon while the burger is cooking, then saute the ramps in the bacon fat while the burger is resting)

Ramp deviled eggs (if I had only one ramp, I would make deviled eggs with the green and pimento cheese with the bulb)

Smoked ramps in olive oil

Ramp omelet

Ramps and potatoes and bacon

After pickling some and freezing some, we'll see how many that leaves me with, but those are the musts for me, a solid week of ... rampiness. The smoked ramps will be new, since I've picked up a stovetop smoker since last year.

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I have despaired at ever finding ramps in NNJ. :sad:

I know I can get them in NYC, but I don't get in very often.


Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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