Years ago, I discovered foraged ramps in the U.S. though available only matured, expensive, and very difficult to find. Unfortunately, matured ramps cannot substitute cheremsha, which is ramp sprouts from Kavkaz mountains. But flowering leeks can! Cooked the same way, I consider succulent stems of flowering leeks the second best. The recipe below is exactly how we prepared ramp sprouts in our family — simple and delicious. It works for the flowering leeks to the letter.
For me, the most inspiring part of the Modernist Bread pita section is the recipes with vegetable purees. I can’t describe how marvelously appetizing ramps flavored pita smells while baking! Ramps season is coming, and I have to share the recipe. This version is for the same-day pita, but feel free to slow down the bulk fermentation in the fridge and develop pita flavors even better.
Chef Patterson’s recipe has three unusual features. First, he uses high-gluten bread flour instead of all-purpose one. Second, the amount of baking powder is three times more than average. Why? Bread flour is capable holding more moister. It is strong enough to let scones rise and not to explode because of the amount of baking powder. It results in a fantastic, unforgettable texture of the scones.
The beginning is always the same — sauté some diced onions and grated carrots in melted butter and cream for color. Because beta-carotene in a carrot is fat soluble, this step is important for the final color of the soup and for making the best use of the nutrient. The rest in this recipe is variable — adjust it to your taste and diet!
Freezing herbs is the easiest and fastest way to preserve them. When added at the end of cooking or right before serving, frozen herbs work almost the same as fresh. You can freeze whole, chopped, or pureed herbs. Freeze them in water to make flavored ice cubes for drinks and cocktails. Or freeze them mixed with vegetable oil, butter, or animal fat to use for cooking savory dishes. Frozen herbs retain their taste, smell, and nutritional benefits for up to one year. Since ramps season is so short, freezing is a great way to make this unique ingredient available for longer than a few weeks.
The idea for vertical lasagna with morels comes from another wonderful recipe — Bourgeois Rose. It is more time consuming and laborious than making linguini, but it’s worse it. The result is delicious and visually stunning.
I like when my students can take home what they made during the class and finish or use it for cooking at home. This recipe is a perfect example how to fix a quick and beautiful meal at home using what you learned and prepared during my cooking classes. Frozen ramps paste and ramps compound butter are the products of Wild, Wild, Wild Ramps! workshop, and fresh linguini are the result of Fresh Pasta cooking class.
Served at room temperature, rice salads are perfect for summer. They can be composed with local ingredients. They can be vegan, vegetarian, or include light proteins. Calamari or cuttlefish are ideal for that kind of salads. Pickled ramps used in the recipe are part of my Wild, Wild, Wild Ramps!, but can be substituted with your favorite pickles and olives. The vegetables, pickles, and dressing you use will make your salad unique.