At the Farmers’ Market:
When we can, we try to make time for a trip to the local farmers’ market. (If only we could go ALL the time.) Sometimes, we go with something specific in mind, but often we go just to wander around and see what’s what. This is, for sure, our favorite way to “plan” a meal (and boy, do we love making lists, so that’s saying something): going on the hunt for anything and everything good and figuring out how to mix and match it all to make a delicious, fresh, seasonal meal.
On a recent trip, we picked up some beautiful ramps, scapes, and rainbow chard. (Have you ever seen rainbow chard? It’s amazing. If you haven’t, just wait until our next post…) We went to the market with only a hearty hankering for bruschetta but one look at the ramps and we knew we’d found the perfect topping. They would, however, need a little something else alongside, so we headed over to the Firefly Farms cheesemakers table where they were happily providing samples. One taste of the Cabra LaMancha, a semi soft goat cheese, and we knew it was the perfect pairing for the ramps. Lastly, we picked up some spectacular bread from the always packed Bonaparte Breads stand and headed home to make snacks! A pretty perfect Sunday.
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Ramps or wild leeks, look like scallions but have leaves like lilies of the valley. Their pungent, garlicky flavor mellows out with cooking. Use them in risotto or cook in a bit of olive oil and add them to your eggs, pasta, or potatoes. Incredible. They’re also wonderful grilled: Just brush them with a bit of olive oil, throw them on the grill, and add a sprinkle of salt.
Allow one ramp for each bruschetta. Plan on serving two bruschetta per person. (But we find, it’s always good to make a few extras. Better to have too much than too little.)
A round, crusty loaf of bread or boule will be easiest to toast. Cut the bread into 1/2” thick slices. Then, cut the large slices in half.
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A sauté pan
Bunch of ramps, sliced vertically and washed well, and patted dry
Crusty loaf of French or Italian
Good extra virgin olive oil
Flaked sea salt or regular salt
*Heat your oven to 350°F.
*Heat the sauté pan, then add olive enough to coat the pan.
*Saute the ramps until they start to show some color.
*Place your slices of bread directly on the oven racks. When lightly toasted, flip them over and toast the other side.
*Place the bread on a platter or board, drizzle with olive oil, and spread on the goat cheese. (Trust us, the olive oil makes a big difference– the cheese alone will be a bit dry with the bread. It also adds a great roundness of flavor.)
*Top each bruschetta with some of the ramps and a few flakes of salt.
Look out for our next post: rainbow chard with scapes!