A rampstand? you betcha.
Okay, this week the weather is feeling a bit more season typical, but holy geez, was that March or August that we just experienced? And with that warm weather, plants started popping up WAY ahead of schedule. Seriously, when have we ever seen asparagus and lilacs this early? Not complaining just gonna miss ‘em when their typical turn comes round.
Another early bird this season is that Spring darling the ramp. Unlike what seems like EVERYONE, I am not really on the OMG ramps, ramps, ramps I must have NOW bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I love their ushering in of Spring, love their oniony-garlicky flavor, but quite frankly they are so thirty-plus years ago for me. Been there, done that, all at the ripe ole age of nine. Oh so ahead my time.
After moving to the midwest in the early 70′s (Hinsdale, IL to be exact) I found myself a new BBF, Kim. Well, said BBF and I were playing outside (cuz yeah, back then that is what you did, no inside on the Wii or PC for us) in the woods behind her house (which was technically Oak Brook: tip off for you foragers out there, then again guessing development over the years has wiped out the ramps completely in that neck of the ‘burbs) we came upon an absolute SEA of ramps, or what our nine year old selves called wild onions (I mean who was on the ‘ramp’ trend back then?).
I have no idea what went off in ours heads that we both thought, hey we can sell these! Forget lemonade, that is so ‘done’, no one is selling wild onions. We furiously picked mounds of them (god we must of stunk to high hell), set up a stand at the end of the driveway. Bring on the buyers, we are so going to make our fortune. Genius! Smartest. Kids. On. The. Block. Well in the early 70′s? No. So. Much. Not one sale. We couldn’t understand it. Like I said, ahead of our time. If we had set up that same stand today we would be golden, buzzed about in the the food blogosphere or featured on the on Food Network as the youngest food entrepreneurs…
Now after all that ramp-reminiscing I am craving the stinky little weed. Do like them pickled, or roasted, but on a chilly day it’s in a cozy comfy pasta dish that I am a hankering for. I am hoping that the Pasta Puttana has her ramp pasta at Green City tomorrow (it is oh so good) but meanwhile I want some pasta today. And thanks to my friend Bernie (she who has provided the gorgeous pictures on this post – this gal can shoot food!) for turning me onto this quick ramp pasta recipe from epicurious.com.
Spaghetti with Ramps (serves 4)
▪ 1/2 pound ramps
▪ 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
▪ 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
▪ 1 pound spaghetti
▪ 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
Trim roots from ramps and slip off outer skin on bulbs if loose.
Blanch ramps in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, 2 to 3 seconds, and transfer to a cutting board with tongs.
Coarsely chop ramps and put in a blender with zest and oil.
Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook a few minutes, then ladle out 1/2 cup pasta water and add to blender.
Purée ramps until smooth and season with salt.
Continue to cook spaghetti until al dente, then ladle out about 1 cup additional pasta water before draining spaghetti in a colander.
Return pasta to pot with ramp purée and toss with parmesan over moderate heat 1 to 2 minutes, thinning sauce with a little pasta water as needed to coat pasta.
p.s. photo credit to Bernadine Rolnicki, food photographer extraordinaire