Friday, May 7, 2010
Seared Scallops with Creamy Spring Ramps
For me, spring is truly marked by the arrival of certain spring vegetables -- asparagus, morel mushrooms, fiddleheads... and, of course, the ubiquitous ramp.
Ramps (Allium trioccum), often called wild leeks or wild garlic, are a member of the lily family -- which also includes garlic, leeks, and onions. Resembling scallions, ramps begin at their base as lovely white bulbs whose gorgeous reddish-purple stalks rise upward into a plume of elegantly silky green leaves. With a mild flavor poised deliciously between that of leeks and garlic, they make a delicious addition to pasta dishes and pestos. And they marry particularly well with farm fresh spring eggs.
But, they're also fantastic when featured on their own -- which is how we decided to showcase these lovely locally grown spring vegetables for the Virtual Vegetable of the Month Club challenge, hosted by our friends over at innBrooklyn (If you haven't taken the opportunity to check out their blog, you really must. It's positively gorgeous! And a good read, to boot!).
Having been inspired by a gorgeous posting on The Sprouted Kitchen for Scallops on Creamy Leeks, we decided to take Sara's concept in a new direction by simplifying it a bit, and using ramps in place of the leeks.
Since the delicately flavored leaves of the wild leek cook much faster than the bulbs and stems, we chopped each separately. First, we sauteed the bulbs and stems gently in a few tablespoons of butter.
We dredged the scallops lightly in a mixture of white whole wheat flour and salt (not necessary, but a step that adds a delicious crust to the final product), and then set them to cook in a pan of hot bacon fat. This is the point in the story when Peef begins to swoon, and it's no wonder. You can just imagine the sweet, smoky odor that infused our kitchen as the scallops were cooking...
In less than 40 minutes, dinner was served. And it was Spring Heaven. On a plate.
Or, as Peef would say, "This is the best use of tarragon. Ever." And I'd have to agree.
Seared Sea Scallops with Creamy Spring Ramps
Inspired? Well, why not try your own hand at something equally delicious? And you have at least two more days to submit your own spring garlic recipes to the Veg of the Month Club! We'll see you there!
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