I will confess that over the Winter, I bought "Spring Mix" salad from the store. I couldn't help it. My body just craved the fresh food. And now, it only gets worse.
A couple weeks ago, my husband and I went foraging for ramps. Ramps are also known as wild leeks and the tend to grow in the woods near streams, or any wetland area. They are pretty powerful little buggers. The taste will outlast teeth brushing. (That is a tested fact.) Leeks are in the Allium family (as are onion and garlic).
Let's do a comparison.
My husband picked these [domestic] leeks from our garden that had over Wintered. Their stalk is a lot larger, which is the part that you use. A ramp can be used for it's stem and it's leaves. The leaves are tender and much more palatable.
Earlier this week, I made a quiche with both kinds of leeks. There was a strong smell coming from the oven while it baked, but the ramps' flavor did mellow out a lot. (I guess that didn't really matter because my husband and I were both eating it, so no one was going to be offended by bad breath.)
Making pie crusts used to frustrate me to no end. That was a problem because my husband loves pie. The only way to get better is to practice and in our almost six years of marriage, I have a lot of pie. A lot. I use my Mother-in-law's pie crust recipe and it will forever be implanted in my brain (along with her pizza sauce and her homemade pancakes). If you are a pro at making pie crusts, than you can skip on ahead, but if you are looking for some improvement, I will give you my most helpful tip: use a spatula. I would have the hardest time mixing in the water. Did I add enough water? Why isn't the dough coming together? Using a [rubber] spatula helps to blend in and to press on the dough to bring together the ice water and flour-fat mixture.
Leek & Ramp Quiche
2 T olive oil or bacon fat (Whaaat? Yeah, it's really good.)
3-5 leeks, stalks only, thinly sliced into half moons
1 t salt
15-20 ramps, cleaned, stem and leaves, chopped
1 c cheese, grated (I used a mix of Swiss and sharp cheddar)
1 1/2 c whole milk
Fresh cracked pepper (Yes, I've become that person. It makes a big difference, people.)
Your favorite pie crust recipe, unbaked
Preheat oven to 350.
Sauté the leeks in the fat of your choice for 5 minutes with 1/2 t salt.
Spread cooked leeks in prepared pie crust. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese.
Evenly distribute ramps (stems and leaves) on top of cheese.
Whisk eggs, milk, 1/2 t salt and fresh pepper. Pour over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 1 hour.
(I originally wanted to make this quiche because when I was skimming through the directions I saw "30 minutes" somewhere towards the bottom and thought, "Nice! This won't take that long." It wasn't until I was following along and put it in the oven that "30 minutes" was prefaced by "Bake for 1 hour and allow to cool for..." This wasn't my first quiche, so you think I would've done a double take and questioned the short baking time. I'm notorious for not reading recipe directions completely.)
Disclaimer: If you or a loved one you are making this for does not like onion, please don't make this. They will not be happy with you. I am not responsible for anyone, adult or child, who refuses to eat this. This is not intended for picky eaters.
However, I am not trying to dissuade you from making this. I think this quiche is delicious and light. If you want it to be a bit more rich, use 1 c milk and 1/2 c heavy cream in lieu of the 1 1/2 c whole milk.
I want to make some ramp pesto next.
Anyone else have a good recipe for ramps?
Please share in the comments below.
Take a walk in the woods and see all that there is to offer.