Garlicky pungent yet delicate ramps, or wild leeks, are one of the first edible greens available each spring, and their appearance is hungrily welcomed by those of us anxious for seasonal fare. There are curmudgeons among us who roll their eyes and grumble, “It is just an onion.” Determined to spoil our fun, these anti-leekers dismiss the beloved ramp as nothing to get all excited about. But we ramp enthusiasts know better.
Ramps resemble green onions or scallions, though their tops are leafy and wide. Raw, pickled, grilled, or added to stir-fry, they are a fresh substitute for everyday onions. The window of opportunity for finding and using ramps is less than a month, so I prefer recipes that encourage their unique piquant to shine. —culturalconstruct
puff pastry sheet, thawed
egg plus 1 tablespoon water
small new potatoes, sliced about 1/8 of an inch thick (about 1 ½ cups)
cream or half-and-half
1 1/2 cups
shredded Asiago cheese
fresh cracked black pepper
4 to 5
ramps, chopped (including the broad leaves)
Butter a shallow baking dish (I used a 10-inch square dish, but a pie plate would also work). On lightly floured surface gently roll out pastry dough and press seams together. Place dough in the center of the prepared baking dish and press evenly to edges, folding under any extra pastry to make a lip. Dot inner pastry with a fork.
Mix together egg and tablespoon of water; lightly brush the pastry interior with egg wash. Reserve remaining egg wash.
Bring several cups of salted water to boil in medium-sized pot. Add potatoes slices and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse potatoes in cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Layer the potatoes over the pastry.
Add cream and 1 cup of Asiago to egg wash; spread evenly over potatoes and season with pepper and nutmeg. Scatter ramps over the pastry then top with remaining Asiago.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes or until filling is set and pastry is golden brown.