eat in my kitchen

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Tag: ramsons

Cod al Cartoccio with Ramp and Red Onion

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

My beloved ramp is back in season, ready to add its garlicky spiciness to fish, meat and vegetables, and to one of my favourites of course: fragrant ramp pesto!

I’ve been looking for it impatiently over the past few weeks and when I finally spotted the first bunch at my organic supermarket I had to call my boyfriend instantly, he’s almost more obsessed with these green spring leaves than I am. We changed our dinner plans from gnocchi with blue cheese sauce to spaghetti with pesto, and that was just the beginning of our re-awakened green passion! Cod al cartoccio on a bed of ramp and red onions was next on my list. It’s not only very delicious but also a very convenient match. I wrapped the fish in a parchment paper package with a little white wine, olive oil and lemon juice and cooked it in the oven for 15 minutes, all in all it took less than half an hour including the preparation! If you’re still looking for a light and easy family Easter lunch, think al cartoccio. It cooks the fish to perfection while you can create your desired aroma of herbs and vegetables, it tastes divine and looks beautiful on the table.

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

 

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

Cod al Cartoccio with Ramp and Red Onion

For 2 people you need

cod fillet, about 2 1/2cm / 1″ thick, 400g / 14 ounces
ramp, stalks cut off, a large bunch (about 50g / 1 3/4 ounces)
small red onion, cut in half and into thin slices, 1
white wine 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
olive oil 2 tablespoons plus more for the parchment paper
sea salt and pepper

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (fan-assisted oven).

Cut 2 large pieces of parchment paper, big enough to wrap the fish, lay them on top of each other and brush the top layer with olive oil. Lay the ramp leaves in the middle of the oiled parchment paper (leave 2 leaves out and put aside), place the cod on top and season with salt and pepper. Lay 1 ramp leaf on top of the fillet and arrange the onions around the fish. Whisk the wine, olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the fish. Close the parchment paper like a bonbon and fold the top twice. Place in a baking dish and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes, if you can separate the fish (gently) with a fork it’s done, if it needs a little longer close the parchment paper and put back into the oven (mind not to overcook it!). Chop the raw ramp leaf and sprinkle over the cooked fish, serve with fresh baguette and a glass of chilled white wine!

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

 

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

 

Cod and Ramp al Cartoccio

Bean and Ramp Quiche

Bean and Ramp Quiche

Quiche is one of those dishes which makes me feel good, always, no matter what my day has been like. As soon as I see a quiche in my oven and smell its buttery aroma spread through the kitchen I have to smile. Maybe it’s the butter, or the eggs or the fact that I can look forward to another tart on my plate! That’s why I’ve already written about a couple of my quiche recipes, my classic with leek, tomatoes and thyme, the Italian one with fennel and parmesan and here is another one, packed with greens. I fill this savory tart with beans, ramp (wild garlic) and spring onions and it has a deliciously light spring feeling!

I’ve praised its short crust at length which is so crisp and buttery, to me it’s just perfect. My quiches always have a thin layer of an eggy and creamy mixture to keep it light and to leave space for the vegetable filling. Some recipes focus on the creamy filling which can make a quiche too rich and heavy, at least for my taste. I want to be able to eat a piece of quiche with my fingers, a tart for a picnic!

Bean and Ramp Quiche

Bean and Ramp Quiche

For one quiche you need a round (27cm / 10.5″) or oval baking dish or tart pan.

 

For the short crust base

flour 250g / 8.5 ounces
(I use spelt flour type 630 but you can use any other plain flour)
butter, cold 125g / 4.5 ounces
organic egg 1
salt 1 teaspoon

Combine the flour with the salt. Cut the butter with a knife into the flour until there are just little pieces of butter left. Continue with your fingers and work the butter into the flour until combined (there shouldn’t be any lumps of butter left). Add the egg and continue mixing with the hooks of your mixer until you have a crumbly mixture. Form a disc, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 10 minutes.

 

For the filling

green beans 200g / 7 ounces
ramp (wild garlic), just the leaves, cut into slices, 30g / 1 ounce
spring onion, cut into slices, 1/2
organic eggs 3
heavy cream 125 ml
crème fraiche or sour cream 125ml
salt 1 teaspoon
ground black pepper
nutmeg, freshly grated, a generous amount

 

The quiche

Set the oven to 210°C / 410°F top/ bottom heat.

Blanche the beans in plenty of salted water for a couple minutes until al dente.

Mix  the eggs with the heavy cream, crème fraiche, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Roll out the dough between cling film and line your baking dish with the flat pastry. Prick it with a fork and blind-bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes.  Take your baking dish out of the oven and set the temperature down to 180°C / 355°F.

Spread the beans, ramp and spring onions on top of the pre-baked pastry base and pour the liquid mixture over it. Put the quiche on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden, the top should be firm. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

Bean and Ramp Quiche

 

Bean and Ramp Quiche

 

Bean and Ramp Quiche

Spicy Ramp Pesto with Spaghetti

Pasta with Ramp Pesto

When I wrote about my wild garlic soup two weeks ago, a couple of the more attentive followers of eat in my kitchen told me that “ramp” is the more common name for my beloved “wild garlic”. I’m happy they let me know and to avoid confusion I will change its name in my recipes to “ramp”. “Wild garlic” has a bit of an adventurous touch, I like that, it fits to its distinct taste but if only a few know it as such then I have to compromise.

At the moment, this plant is at its seasonal peak. The long leaves cover the moist ground in the forests, filling the air with their beautiful smell of fresh green onions. When I go to the market, I buy ramp in bulk as I’m a bit obsessed with it. I even start my shopping earlier in the morning just to make sure that I get enough of the little bunches for all the recipes I have in mind. The recipe I make the most (at least once a week) is a pesto, spicy and very strong in taste, great with pasta or spread on toasted dark bread which is an absolutely delicious snack! In the fridge, it stays fresh for a few days so I always prepare a big bowl.

For my pesto, I use the leaves of 2 bunches of ramp (around 90g /  3 ounces), rinsed and dried well, and mix them in a blender with 110ml of olive oil, 50g / 2 ounces of parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You could add some pine nuts but I find them too weak to come through, I prefer to concentrate on the ramp and the cheese. When we eat the pesto with spaghetti or linguine I add some crushed pepper and more grated parmesan on the warm pasta.

Tomorrow I will write about a burger which didn’t manage to escape my ramp obsession!

Pasta with Ramp Pesto

 

Pasta with Ramp Pesto

 

Pasta with Ramp Pesto

Wild Garlic Soup to start off the Spring

Wild Garlic Soup

Walking through the forest is one thing I miss the most living in the city. Its earthy smell, the musty air captured by the trees changing with the seasons makes me feel at home. Especially in spring, when the green comes out again and everything smells light and fresh with the first flowers starting to blossom. I want to walk on soft soil watching nature unraveling around me!

One of the most distinct smells you can find at the moment when walking though a European forest close to a river or lake is the smell of garlic, wild garlic. Coming from a little plant which covers the ground in large areas and looks similar to lilies of the valley. It’s a wild relative of chives also known as ramps, ramsons, buckrams, wood garlic or bear’s garlic as they must be quite taken by it. In taste it’s similar to chives but with a unique touch to it, spicy, a bit like garlic but fresher, more “green”. The leaves are best when young and fresh, great in pesto, soups or to spice up other vegetables and meat.

I’m totally with the bears, I love cooking with it and when I spotted it at the market I got excited and had lots of recipes on my mind. Inspiration for the weeks to come! I will start with a tangy but smooth soup, the leaves of two bunches of wild garlic, potatoes, onion and a few spring onions on top. It doesn’t take much to make this springy soup of the forest!

Wild Garlic Soup

Wild Garlic Soup

For 4 people you need

wild garlic, rinsed and stems cut off, the leaves of 2 bunches (around 100g / 3.5 ounces)
potatoes, cut into cubes, 750g / 1.5 pounds
onions, chopped 2
water 1500ml
heavy cream 180ml
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying
spring onion, cut into thin slices, 1 for topping

In a large pot, bring the water to the boil and cook the wild garlic for 2 minutes. Take it out with a slotted ladle, rinse under cold water for a few seconds but keep the boiled water! Fry the onions in some oil until golden, add the potatoes, some salt and the water used to cook the wild garlic and cook for 12 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add the wild garlic and cream and mix in a blender till smooth. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with spring onions when served on plates.

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