Friday, April 20, 2012

More Spring Ramp-age

Spring continues to bring more and more out of the gardens, and luckily for those of us who love them, that still includes ramps, both cultivated and wild. And as crazy as it sounds, when there are several local Tailgate Markets that happen well within reach of my home or studio, my time and budget have not allowed me to venture into one of them yet this season. Thankfully, I have one other option, and that's studio delivery of delicious eggs and vegetables from a local farm, Mudluscious Pottery & Gardens.

Today's delivery: eggs, ramps, kale, and shiitake mushrooms. And I'm still on my budget. I'm allowing myself $20/week toward the market veg, when I have it and when I can get to the market, and this delivery came well under that and will be a part of meals throughout the next week (ramps and mushrooms in more egg dishes, and in a soup, kale chopped thinly for a nice raw salad base, egg salad for a light lunch at the studio ... and more I'm sure!), along with pantry stock.

Tonight was a quick frittata using a bit of everything in the bag, plus a small local sweet potato and some dried thyme from my old spiral garden. I find that when I cook this fresh and seasonal for myself, I barely season at all, so I can really enjoy all the immediate and earthy tastes of things recently harvested. I've just finished a few bites of frittata, and I'm enjoying the resonant flavors of the ramps, the mild musk of the shiitake, the tangible green taste of the kale, all enveloped in a silky mix of fresh eggs ... paired with a nice Pale Ale, and dinner is served.

My enthusiasm for the dish is illustrated by the way I practically hacked it out of the pan, remembering too late the pretty picture I intended to take for the blog. I also fully intended to measure amounts, but was more hungry than analytical when I got home with my bag of goodies, so these are educated guesses, feel free to tweak as you please:

Frittata with Ramps, Kale, Shiitake, and Sweet Potato

2 TBSP extra virgin Olive Oil
1 garlic clove, smashed & chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tsp dried thyme leaves (or 1 TBSP fresh leaves)
1 cup chopped ramps (bulbs & greens)
Approx 6 medium size leaves of kale, taken off the stem and chopped
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 small sweet potato, cut into quarters and then thinly sliced
5 eggs, beaten
2-3 TBSP almond milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Use an oven-safe skillet and heat olive oil over moderate heat. Saute the ramps, garlic and shallots lightly, then cover and let simmer 2-3 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste, then add sweet potatoes. Stir to mix, cover and let simmer another 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and kale, stir to mix and let cook, covered, another 3-4 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk/beat the eggs with salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and almond milk. Uncover the saute pan and pour the eggs over as evenly as possible, shaking the pan lightly to distribute. Immediately place the pan in the pre-heated oven and cook until eggs puff (you can switch it to a broil as it sets if you want to brown the top more) and set, 4-5 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes, then cut into wedges and carefully remove. You can also try loosening the entire frittata by running a spatula around the sides and under the bottom, then inverting the entire pan onto a plate. For serving, if you do it this way, I suggest you then invert it again onto another plate to show off the prettier side. :)

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