Recently I posted What’s in Season on my facebk page and it sparked a great deal more interest and enthusiasm than I imagined from dozens of friends while also landing me an invite to visit and cook for a Sunday dinner with the fabulous Green family in the Philadelphia area.
So now you too wanna know What’s in season, right? I’m happy to tell you, this season’s hot list is: CARROTS, NETTLE, PEA SHOOTS, TURNIP, FIDDLEHEAD FERNS, ONION, POTATO, PARSNIPS, MORELS, OYSTERS, RAMPS, MUSHROOMS. I was overjoyed with these earthy, colorful, vitamin & nutrient rich and tasty as all get out. I was immediately inspired to GET COOKING.
Fiddlehead ferns and ramp where what I was on the prowl for. Fiddlehead ferns are still not yet available so I settled on a bunch of Spring young purple haze carrots, (which studies have found that blue and purple pigments in fruits & veg can improve memory, enhance vision, protect against heart attacks, act as anti-inflammatory, and can even help control weight.) white spring onions tho I was wishing for red ones, & a nice handful of ramps. I will have my way with oysters & mushrooms – all in due time.
Having only been served ramps when I worked in a catering kitchen I turned to youtube to watch a few videos to review how to prepare & serve them. Let me tell you, I have not laughed as hard as I did watching completely amateur & raw videos about ramps, made with such dedication, in a very long time. All the laughter aside I must admit, I did learn a few things about ramps – first and foremost, their unrelenting, permeating offensively malodorous odor, a few times likened to a baby diaper is mentioned in each of the 6 videos I watched. Their over the top odor effected how I chose to cook & handle them.
The vegi vittles I gathered went straight into a fridge as I was on a roll Saturday afternoon preparing for my trip to cook with my friends in a suburb of Phili so it wasn’t until I put the stash of vegetables in my overnight bag in the morning that I started to catch wind of the ramp’s scent. I quickly wrapped and re-wrapped the ramps in cellophane & then brown paper and no way were they going to be transported in my overnight bag of clothes & other treats. I had to put up with them being in my handbag which went straight into the hold in the belly of the bus for the trip to Phili.
With fair warning to my friend Bibi about the malodorous odor of the ramps and knowing that she had an outdoor grill the ramps would not be cooked in the house and they were left outside on the porch.
So here’s what we whipped up for the Green Sunday family dinner: I served a light, 2 egg omelet of sautéed ramps, but the piece de resistance seems to have been my carrots. I prepared the spring young purple haze carrots which I split lengthwise, sprinkled with olive oil & salt, wrapped them in aluminum foil then grilled them. Then I prepped spring onions as rings which we also grilled, then I prepared a honey & tangerine juice reduction which I poured a bit of over the carrots & onions then I garnished the plate w/a bit of the chopped up carrot tops. There was grilled chicken, a killer brisket,(from what I understand) coleslaw, potato salad, & grilled asparagus. For Dssert we had almond butter cookies,dark chocolate covered matzoh, pineapple, blueberries & raspberries, bananas w/a splash of coconut vinegar
There’s so much to make with these fabulous earthy, Spring ingredients. Back at ya soon.