Saturday, 16 May 2009

Ramp Champ

I've never actually had ramps before, although of course I have heard about them for years. They are the sort of thing where you usually have to know someone who has them growing on their property. However, there were some at the Meaford 100 Mile Market this week.

I figured this would be a good way to try them out. Most people claim they are very strong in flavour, but I didn't find them to be that strong. Perhaps because they were cooked. There aren't that many members of the allium family that I'm inclined to eat raw, but cooking tames them. There were 24 ramps in this champ, and I think it could have taken more. We thought they were very good, and I hope to get my hands on some more in the future.

4 servings
30 minutes prep time

Ramp Champ
900 grams (2 pounds) potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
24 to 48 ramps
salt & pepper

Wash and trim the potatoes. Peel them if you like, but it isn't necessary. Just be sure to remove any bad spots. Cut the potatoes in quarters and put them in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil until tender.

In another pot, put the buttermilk and butter. Clean and trim the ramps, and chop them fairly finely. Put them in the pot with the buttermilk and butter. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat, and keep warm until the potatoes are ready. It's okay if it curdles.

When the potatoes are done, drain them very well. Return them to the pot and mash them with the ramps and buttermilk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with melted butter, if you like.

Last year at this time I made Carrots & Asparagus with Sesame or Sunflower Seeds.

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