Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ramps Recipe - Ramps Greens Stuffed Bread

Ramps (Allium tricoccum) are an easy item for many foragers to start with. In the spring, areas of wet forest are blanketed with the green leaves that grow mostly in pairs. The leaves are lanceolate, 8-12 inches long, flat and wide. The leaves are smooth and have almost a rubbery feel, and lack veins. When bruised, they emit a distinct garlic smell. Many communities in Appalchia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania hold festivals in the spring to celebrate the ramps, featuring this foraged food in local specialties. The leaves are gathered and chopped up to add to dishes, imparting a oniony/garlicky flavor. Ramps can be found at farmer's markets and in fancy restaurants. We gather them to use immediately, and then clean and chop more leaves to freeze for use all year. We add the chopped leaves to soups and biscuits, and pretty much anything that you would add garlic or onion to, like scrambled eggs, potatoes, dips, and beans. Our first letterbox plant was Foraging Ramps, placed in the Salmon River State Forest in Colchester, after we discovered a patch of ramps one spring. Robert has some more fantastic pictures of ramps here:

In autumn, it is the bulbs that are dug up and used like onion bulbs. It may be a bit harder to find the bulbs, since all that is visible is the dried flower stalk, usually still bearing black seeds in clusters of three in an umbel. Push aside the leaf litter and you will see the tips of the bulbs. Sometimes there are clusters of bulbs to dig up. Last week I dug up a bunch and brought them home to cook with greens and stuff into bread. I brought the bread to a letterboxing gather, and people enjoyed it. I had some bulbs left over, and added them to soup like onions. The bulbs will keep about a month in a dark, dry place.

Ramps and Wild Greens Stuffed Bread
makes one 12" loaf

one ball of dough

20 ramp bulbs
1 c. packed garlic mustard greens
1 c. packed lamb's quarters greens
1 c. sheep sorrel greens
2 c. fresh spinach
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp garlic mustard seeds
egg wash

1. Clean and chop the ramp bulbs. Wash the greens and shake off excess water.
2. Sautée the ramp bulbs in oil until translucent, and add the wet greens, cooking quickly to wilt them.
3. Season the filling with salt and pepper.
4. Roll out the dough into a 8"x 12" rectangle. Spread the filling on the dough and roll it up or braid it. Allow the dough to rise 30 minutes.
5. Brush the bread with egg wash and sprinkle the garlic mustard seeds over the top.
6. Bake at 375° for 25-35 minutes, until browned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

looks great- thanks for the heads up about the awesome food in the forest
six stars