Ramps, ramps, ramps! That's all I've been hearing for the past couple weeks as spring gets itself sprung here in New York and the first fresh green things hit the farmer's markets. I missed these last season, and I don't think I'd even heard of them before then, so I was determined to get my hands on some. Fort Greene Farmer's Market to the rescue. An impromptu bike ride in the unseasonal 80 degree weather got me there in no time. The ramps were expensive, but I played it off like no big deal when the handsome young man at the stand told me 10 bucks for two scallion - sized bunches. "They're foraged, you know," he said. Ah, foraged = $$.
Ramps are native to North America and are also known as wild leeks. Their flavor is somewhere between onions and garlic. I decided that breakfast was in order. Since I'm always looking for different beds for my favorite breakfast staple, poached eggs, I decided to saute them along with some Swiss chard and Vidalia onions I had on hand. I used an entire bunch in this single serving and I found it totally delicious, but feel free to alter the proportions with your other greens. Also, some sort of breakfast potato would put this over the top awesome-wise.
Sauteed Ramps & Chard with Poached Eggs
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil (I used 1 teaspoon bacon fat that I had left over from the insane amount of bacon that I cooked for the Bacon Takedown.)
1 bunch ramps, cleaned and trimmed
2 large leaves of chard
1/2 small onion, diced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Put the water for your poached eggs on over high heat. Add the vinegar and salt.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high. Cut the leaves off the the ramps and into 1 inch slices and set aside. Dice up the stalks like you would with scallions. Do the same thing with the chard, setting the leaves aside with the ramp leaves. When the skillet is heated, add the onion and the diced stalks of the ramps and chard. Cook, stirring until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add the sliced leaves of the ramps and chard and cook until wilted another 2-3 minutes. Add the pepper flakes, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Meanwhile, once the water is boiling for the poached eggs, add them gently, turn off the heat, cover and set a timer for 3 1/2 minutes. Pile the sauteed ramp mixture onto a plate. Check the eggs when the timer goes off and if the whites look done enough for your taste, carefully remove with a slotted spoon and place atop the greens.