Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ramped UP for Spring

Ah, the ubiquitous ramp.

We've been seeking out these little suckers for weeks now. And we finally found a batch of locally gathered ramps at the co-op. Just imagine our excitement! We felt a bit indulgent paying $2.99/bunch for these delicacies, which are essentially gourmet weeds. But, we've been pretty stoked about the emerging flavors of spring, so the purchase seemed almost a necessity.

I've collected a number of recipes for ramps, including things as simple (and classic) as ramps cooked with scrambled eggs. I know there are also a few very nice pasta recipes floating around. But, we decided to try out a recipe for pizza instead.

This was simplicity at its finest. Nothing more than a crisp pizza dough, a bit of mozzarella cheese, some blanched ramps, and a bit of aged asiago. But it was quite delicious.

The blanching definitely takes the edge off of the ramps, which are often described as having a "bite". These tender alliums were sweet as could be. The flavor could definitely be described as "wild," but I also felt as if they carried a sort of perfumey quality that made them worth seeking out.

White Pizza with Ramps

Pizza crust (your favorite recipe)

extra virgin olive oil
10-12 medium ramps, washed and trimmed
4-5 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 450ºF (allow oven to remain at temperature for at least 30 minutes).

While oven is heating, bring salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. When water reaches a boil, add ramps. Blanch for one minute. Ramps should be bright green and just tender. Remove ramps from water, drain, and pat dry. Slice into 1-2 inch pieces (we left our ramps more intact, but they were MUCH more difficult to eat this way).

Roll out pizza dough into desired shape. Brush with olive oil.
Spread mozzarella over crust. Scatter ramps over cheese. Top with shavings of asiago.

Bake for 8-12 minutes.
Allow to rest for five minutes before slicing.

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