What’s for dinner? No need to scratch your head. Go vegetarian with this awesome recipe.
By Serge Lescouarnec
Just a few years ago, no one knew what ramps were or how to cook them, but that’s all changed, and now they’re the hottest item at the farmers’ market. I think people get excited about ramps because they symbolize the arrival of spring. You know it’s finally here after a long, dreary winter—ramps are the first burst of green.
- ¾ cup fresh ricotta
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons moscato vinegar (see Resources, page 357)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 20 thin ramps with leaves (about 3 ounces; see Andrew’s Note)
- ¼ cup plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 teaspoons toasted pine nuts
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- Four ¾-inch-thick slices country-style bread
- Bundle the ricotta tightly in a piece of cheese-cloth. Place in a sieve set in a small bowl and refrigerate overnight.
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with the moscato and white wine vinegars. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, unwrap the ricotta and place in a small bowl (discard any water that has collected in the bottom of the bowl). Season with salt and pepper to taste, then use a whisk to whip the ricotta until light and fluffy. Set aside.
- Trim the hairy roots from the ramps. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1?4 cup of the olive oil and heat until hot. Add the ramps and cook, stirring, until the bottoms are golden and the tops are wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with 1?2 teaspoon salt and continue to cook for another minute or so, until soft. Add the raisins, with some vinegar still clinging to them (reserve the remaining vinegar), and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then cool to room temperature. Toss the ramp mixture with the pine nuts, the 4 teaspoons olive oil, reserved raisin vinegar, chili flakes, 1?4 teaspoon black pepper, and salt to taste.
- Preheat the broiler. Drizzle one side of the bread slices with olive oil. Toast, oiled side up, until golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.
- To serve, spread each toast with ricotta. Spoon the ramp mixture on top and drizzle with olive oil.
Also known as Serge The Concierge, food and wine are essential parts of the DNA of New Jersey based Serge Lesouarnec. His French roots guarantee strong opinions on food, wine and travel, topics he has been writing about since 2005.