Ramps

Newsletter - Apr 15 - RampsSpring has sprung and the grass is starting to rise. With warmer spring weather -hopefully- just around the corner, the annual push of spring seasonal produce is upon us.

I love getting in seasonal produce. After a long, cold (ok, it wasn’t that cold) Hungarian winter, devoid of fresh vegetables, it’s nice to finally get back to healthy green vegetables. A good portion of this type are actually coming in from warmer temperatures because the true seasonal items simply aren’t here just yet, but they aren’t a long way off.

One of the tell-tale signs of spring is the availability of ramps, or better known here as medvehagyma which translates as ‘Bear onion’. Ramps are like a green onion and they grow wild through much of Hungary. Finding wild ramps is easy once the foragers knows what the leaves look like. Because nothing else smells like ramps, having an aroma of garlic but a taste similar to a sweet onion, there is no danger of picking the wrong plant. It’s a true wild ingredient and you can even pick them in some of the forested parts of the city.

Below is one of my favorite ways to enjoy this taste of early spring.

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 big spoons of minced (not dried) fresh parsley, thyme, chives, or a mix
  • 3 tbsp / 45 g butter, divided in thirds.
  • 16 ramps (medvehagyma), washed, whites sliced thinly, greens cut into 5cm segments (see note above)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Adjust rack to 20 cm below broiler element and preheat broiler to high. Combine three whole eggs and fresh herbs in large bowl and whisk until homogenous and frothy. Heat ⅓ of your butter in a 10-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add medvehagyma, season with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add to bowl with eggs and set aside. Wipe out skillet.
  2. With an immersion blender, whisk egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into beaten egg and ramp mixture. It’s ok if it deflates significantly. Fold until a homogenous color is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat remaining butter in the skillet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides; mix around. Add egg / medvehagyma mixture and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom and sides until partially set, about 30 seconds. Smooth top with spatula, then transfer to the broiler.
  4. Broil the frittata until lightly puffed and golden brown on top, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove it with a thin spatula until it moves freely in the skillet.
  5. Slice it and serve immediately.

This recipe is modified from J. Kenji López-Alt at Seriouseats.com

This article appeared in our April, 2015 Newsletter. For further information about the online publication and to sign up, please click here.