Monday, May 9, 2011

Springtime Ramps

For weeks we have been wanting to get our hands on some fresh ramps and mentioning this to Chris and Pam the other night at their party, they blessed us with a copius spring bouquet of them. Now, what were we going to do with them...

We put them in the fridge and in the morning, even through the tupperware and the fridge door, the entire kitchen was redolent with ramps. We hied ourselves off to the market hoping for peas, (no such luck) and while there I managed to convince my sweetie to make us up a batch of fresh pasta.

All of the recipes I found called for blanching ramps, but they smelled so good I decided I would saute them with a bit of butter and olive oil instead. I had some sunflower seeds that needed eating and since this was a rare vegetarian meal, decided to add them into the mix.

We had picked up some pea shoots at the market as well, so my sweetie suggested we toss thos into the mixture, did that last minute as I wanted a bit of crunch to them. A bit of fleur de sel, some white pepper, a grating of parmesan and a Saturday lunch was ready to be eaten on the azelea blessed patio. It was the first time I had actually eaten ramps, I found them grassy yet nutty and sooo fresh and full of springtime flavor. Not an onion, not a chive, not garlic, but something in between with a hint of wild in it.

Here's to spring!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Le Creuset Envy No More

For years I have been going to my friend Tam's to visit and take over her kitchen. She has the most enviable le Creuset collection of anyone I know. We were gone last week and when we got home there was a very heavy box from Tam. I had NO idea what it could be so opened it up and started unpacking.

I have been BLESSED! multiple old beautiful le Creuset pans that we immediately decided to put to good use.

First up, an excellent oval baker that Tam said she had no idea what to put in it. I am imagining many meals of scalloped potatoes, but it's spring, so we decided to have rainbow trout. We laid it on a bed of fresh fennel fronds from the garden and stuffed it with fresh sorrel from same. A splash of white wine, tin foil and a 400 degree oven yielded delicious results.

I had never tried making fava beans before and we ran into them shopping at Wegmans. I didn't buy nearly enough, but enough to give them a try in a teeny tiny le Creuset that Tam sent. Parboiled, then sauteed with a bit of butter and mint for a couple of minutes... YUM!

Voila the finished dinner, Green Basmati Rice from the Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook which has become our favorite, the Trout, the Favas and I made a lovely sorrel bechamel sauce to accompany. Dinner à deux.