I was planning on writing an entirely different post today about stupid tofu. Well, tofu isn’t stupid, but I messed up the recipe, so that’s why it’s stupid. But, that all changed when I made my dinner tonight. I decided to use up the ramps I bought this past Saturday at the farmers market-yup, bought them again. So I cooked up my bunch, and fell in love.
When I did my weekly farmers market shopping I couldn’t not buy ramps again. I enjoyed them so much last time and I was surprised how delicious (and versatile) they were. And they are only in season for such a short time that I can’t skip a week while they’re available! Now, that would just be mean. I asked the ramp lady how long they would be in season, and she said a week and a half longer. A week and a half!?! Well, that’s really only a week for me-what am I supposed to do with half a week? So, I only have one more week left to keep eatin’ my ramps. I only bought one bunch though. And I’m still not sure why…one week left and only one bunch!?! I make bad decisions sometimes. I should have bought their entire stock (that’s about 300 bunches). Yup.
I was planning on doing the exact same thing with them as I did last week-a quick saute with some bok choy. Easy peasy. But then I reached an epiphany-ramps in pasta! Yes! Simple yet delicious. A little different than what I did last week but still simple enough that the perfect flavor of the ramps wouldn’t be covered up or hidden. So I got cooking.
First off, I know this is so similar to how I cooked my ramps last week but I don’t care. Cause “I’m in love! I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!” (Elf? Anyone? Anyone? Crickets?) And second, this was such a delicious little dinner it deserves it’s own special post. Onto the cooking!
(I guess we can call this the recipe: Pasta with Ramps & Bok Choy) While I cooked a little bit of whole wheat pasta (when I make pasta, I like to put a lot of other stuff in and don’t like to weigh myself down with the pasta itself, so I tend to use only 1/4 cup or so), I cleaned (very well) the ramps, cut off the roots and chopped them up. I did use the greens this time and am gosh darn glad I did. So, I sauteed the ramps in a bit of olive oil and salt until mostly cooked. Then I added my baby bok choy (about 4 pieces, washed and cut in half vertically) to the pan with the ramps and cooked for about 5 more minutes. Yeah, I know, more bok choy. This isn’t a week for variety! But, this is another veg that I probably won’t be seeing much longer at the market, and it’s so good when it’s young…and cheap for such a crazy huge bag! Anyway, when the bok choy was all wilted down (but still bright and green) and the ramps were cooked (white part was mostly transparent and soft), I added quite a bit of pepper and the ultimate secret ingredient: lemon zest. I had a lemon in the fridge for making some more hummus and it just screamed at me when I opened up the fridge. I think it was a stroke of genius. I zested basically the entire lemon into the cooked ramps and bok choy and it was perfect. Truly perfect.
I was planning on putting half of the ramp/bok choy mixture in with the pasta and saving the other half for tomorrow night but I couldn’t resist. I used the entire thing. I mean it’s just veggies, right? My pasta was overflowing with ramps and bok choy-it’s kinda like I was eating veggies with a threw pieces of pasta thrown in. Not pasta with veggies. But, that’s how I like it. I finished it with a drizzle of my best, really high quality Spanish olive oil (my prize possession) and dug in. Mmmmmm. mmmmm. It’s. just. too. delicious. slobber. drool. The ramps are so good. Just as good as they were last week. I still can’t describe the flavor-subtle yet strong and very distinct. I don’t think there is anything like them. And that lemon? Wow-it brought out a freshness in the ramps that wasn’t there last time. And it totally brightened up the flavor. Super fresh. Super yum. Ramps-will you be my valentine?
It was such a simple dinner-when I started cooking it I thought it was going to be a throw together meal that didn’t deserve it’s own blog post. But it was just a perfect little meal highlighted the best of seasonal and simple eating. I mean-I wouldn’t eat this any other time of the year. It is a seasonal meal, made for May. And so perfect. So so perfect. And in a week and a half? Deep depression. Goodbye ramps! I’ll miss you. Next week I’m going to have to find a replacement veggie. Any contenders? Sugar snap peas are coming into season soon…I think I’ll be ok.