Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wheatberry Salad with Asparagus and Ramps

Wheatberry Salad with Asparagus and Ramps
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side dish

My friend Erin is wheatberry-crazy. I decided to check them out for myself.
They are flavorful and sort of eternally al dente. The drawback to making wheatberry anything is the soaking time. Some recipes suggest soaking overnight, Erin insists 3 days is the perfect amount of time for soaking.

1/2 cup wheatberries, soaked in water for 3 days
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
12 ramps, whites cut in 1/2 inch pieces, greens separately in 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon freshly chopped mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon champagne or other white vinegar
3 ounces mild feta cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Drain and rinse the wheat berries. Boil the wheat berries in plenty of salted water for 1 hour, or until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and the white of ramps, sauté until lightly browned. Add the ramp greens and asparagus, sauté until asparagus is bright green and still a bit crunchy. Stir in the anchovy paste, pine nuts, mint leaves, remaining olive oil, and vinegar. Add the wheatberries and toss to combine. Crumble the feta over the top. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ramps, Fingerlings and Asparagus Oh My!

Ramps, Fingerlings and Asparagus Oh My!

This week the green market in Union Square is just beginning to have some really sexy produce. In particular, I've found some lovely eggs. They vary widely in size, so they're no good for baking, but wonderful for frying. The yolks are ORANGE, not yellow, thank you very much! Okay, they were pricey but well worth it. * They are from Tammarack Hollow Farm

* this is a statement I sense you will here from me often.

A Tangle of Ramps
Serves 2
Ramps are a form of wild leek. You can find them in the greenmarket now. (May). You could also forage for them pretty easily. I love this foraging expert, take one of his tours when you get a chance:

1/4 pound ramps, cleaned with root ends removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

heat the oven to 350∞. Place the ramps with their leaves still attached in a heavy sauce pan with the oil. Toss to coat the ramps in the oil. Spread them out in a single layer. Roast for about 15 minutes, until the leaves have crisped up, and the bulbs have become translucent and are tinged brown.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Serves 2

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound small organic fingerling potatoes, cut in 1 inch lengths
a good pinch of salt
1 small sprig of rosemary, leaves only
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic in their skins

Heat the oven to 350∞. Toss all the ingredients in a small heavy bottom sauté pan. Be sure the cut side of the potatoes are flat to the bottom of the pan. Roast for 35 minutes, until the skins are wrinkled a bit and the bottoms have formed a golden crust.

Asparagus on the Stove
Serves 2

1/4 pound trimmed thin asparagus
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
fine sea salt

Heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan over high heat. In a small bowl, toss the all the ingredients together. Once the pan is quite hot, add the asparagus in one layer. Toss occasionally- they are done when they are bright green with charred spots on them.

New Radish and Butter Sandwiches

New Radish and Butter Sandwiches
Serves 2

The radishes were flirting with me- I had to pick them up and take them home with me immediately.

1 bunch radish greens
2 radishes
2 tablespoons softened high quality European butter
6 slices fresh baguette
Maldon or other flakey sea salt

Heat one tablespoon of the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the radish greens and sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes, remove from heat. Slather the bread with the rest of the butter. Divide the wilted greens among the slices of bread. Slice the radishes ultra thin, divide among the sandwiches. Sprinkle each sandwich with a pinch of salt