Before spring ends, several local favorites are making sure we get to sample one of the season's most delectable green vegetables: ramps. If you haven't tried ramps, now is your chance to taste one of these unique spring onions, which contain the tasty flavors of both garlic and onion.
The Green Door's Chef Cory Burke loves this green treat. Continuing the green theme, one of Burke's ramp dishes is a knock-off of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, featuring braised pig's head, a sunny side up farm egg, salsa verde, and his original recipe for curry pickled ramps ($8). Burke gets them fresh from Virginia farmer Bev Eggleston and Blackbird Farm. "It's a really short season, so we try to make the most of it while we can," says Burke. Another one of his ramp dishes features clams sautéed in coconut curry broth, braised pig head bacon tossed with sriracha maple syrup, and pickled ramps with pepper radishes ($14). But his personal favorite is his ramp entrée dish, an eight-ounce braised short rib over scalloped potatoes and seasonal greens with ramps tossed in a fish sauce vinaigrette. It's finished with kimchi and bone marrow glaze ($32).
Over at Two Boroughs Larder, chef Josh Keeler is cooking up a scrumptious ramp-infused dish as well. After pickling his ramps in cider vinegar, Keeler tosses them with steak tartare. He then makes a purée from the leftover pickle juice and mixes it with pancake batter, creating a ramp pancake. The dish is served with quail eggs and costs $14.
Chef Jacques Larson of Wild Olive is particularly fond of ramps. "Every year we look forward to ramp season getting here, and it's really an official kick-off for a lot of great produce to come," he says. He takes bucatini pasta and tosses it with a specially blended ramp-infused sauce. The dish costs $9 for a small portion and $17 for a larger portion.
The big ovens at EVO and Heart Woodfire Kitchen aren't heating up ramps specifically, but both restaurants are featuring specials with other seasonal green veggies. EVO's sous chef Tim Hunt has been including seasonal spring onions on their daily pizza specials, and Glen Christiansen at Heart Woodfire Kitchen has crafted a special all-local spring flatbread featuring asparagus, broccoli, arugula, and goat cheese.
With the unseasonably cold weather we've been having, it's nice to finally get a big taste of spring.