|If foraging for ramps, make sure you’re not
mistaking day lilies for the real deal.
Photo: Courtesy of Kerry Heffernan
The simplest possible way to cook ramps is just to trim the roots, wash them carefully because they’re generally full of soil, and then put them in a hot pan coated with olive oil, salt and pepper them and cook them for all of 15 seconds. They’re delicious that way but I wanted to make their aromatic, garlic-y presence felt in something more substantial. A contributor to www.thedailymeal.com, which I’ve just been asked to contribute to as well, posted an interesting recipe using Bucatini.
Jacques Larson, whose recipe was my take-off point, is the chef at Wild Olives, (2867 Maybank Highway, John’s Island, S.C. 29455). Jacques’ recipe introduced me to Pangrattato. Made with days-old bread which is cubed and cooked in olive oil spiced with chiles, garlic and anchovies, it’s a fried crouton. It looked very good but with my pasta rationed, I thought the dish needed some more body. That’s when I latched on two Andouille Chicken Sausages, lonely orphans in the fridge. They amped up the flavor and the kick and were a great addition, which I’d heartily endorse. However, Andrew and I thought Italian sweet sausage, taken out of its casing and crumbled into bits might have been even better. Here’s the recipe, which I urge you to try. It just might hold you over for the run on Asparagus that’s just about to begin.
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
6 quarts water