Spring Is In The Air

19 Apr

The year is moving on apace and even though there are no thoughts yet of dragging the ac unit from storage, the colours and flavours of the kitchen are all the proof you need that change is afoot. Blood oranges have all but disappeared, rhubarb is well into its season and all of a sudden cavelo nero and kale are not the only greens available. Wild Garlic or Ramps as they are known here in the US are one of the first signs of a more bountiful season.

Morels also appear come spring time and when Carmine, who owns the fruit and veg store where I live, handed me a bag of the wild mushrooms free of charge it dawned on us both that paired with some ramps, lots of butter and a little parsley I would have the makings of a perfect seasonal dish.

I should say that while I have always enjoyed the new season wild garlic, mushrooms in general are not my favourite food. I think it’s the earthiness as I am no fan of the beetroot, perhaps one too many mud pies as a child. Anyway ‘I could not look a gift horse in the mouth’ (can anyone tell me what that means?), so I prepared a simple pasta dish that actually changed my feelings on morels altogether.

The fact that uncooked they reminded me of a very smelly pair of socks made me a little cautious with my portioning but I gently sautéed a handful in some butter with a few of the chopped ramps stalks and salt until I had drawn out some of their moisture (3-5 minutes). Removing them from the pan I added a little more butter and salt to cook the rest of the ramps. Meanwhile in salted water I cooked some tagliatelle, which once drained I mixed with a splash of oil. When the ramps were warmed through I returned the morels to the pan, added some parsley and then poured the pasta on top. The whole lot was then tossed together with a gentle squeeze of lemon juice.

I really did not expect to enjoy the dish so much, there was no hint of smelly socks but instead a gaminess that work so well with the butter and ramps. I only wished I had cooked a little more, but thankfully with the mountain of morels I still have there is always another meal around the corner.

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7 Responses to “Spring Is In The Air”

  1. foodieinberlin April 19, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    I bought a wild garlic plant and put it out on my balcony. I plan on harvesting some of it and using it to make that potato galette thing Stephen used to make, what was it called?

    • LDN Eats NYC April 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

      Do you mean the Pan Haggerty…? So good when its done right…Did you see The Ledbury in the top 50 restaurants……

      • foodieinberlin April 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

        Yup, that’s it.
        Stephen mentioned it was going to be in the list. Must go back when in London. Oh! Going to Dinner on the 16th of June. Looking forward to it.

  2. Laino May 1, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    hey Anders, not looking a gift horse in the mouth..as far as I know the basic rule is
    you only look if you’re paying
    ..teeth are a good way of guessing the horses age and in most culture’s it’s rude to question how good a gift is (the metaphorical look in the horse’s mouth that is).
    ps: I beleive Jane could expand on this. xx

    • LDN Eats NYC May 1, 2011 at 9:11 am #

      Is that you Elaine…….
      Funny cos when I thought on about the phrase all I could think of was the Trojan Horse, and that if they had checked the belly and not just gazed on in wonder, they may have noticed the hidden army…….But turns out your assessment is on the money…..
      Hows things, where are you at the moment, any chance you’ll be stopping off via NY anytime?xx

  3. Michael Simon May 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Great commentary, can you set up recipes to print in a more convienent form? (“Print this Recipe”).

    “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” — Horses are known for needing expensive dental work. If someone gives you a horse, it is impolite to look in its mouth and check it’s teeth (wait until you ride off cowboy…)

    Given all the Royal Wedding Coverage you would think the USA is still a Colony.

    • LDN Eats NYC May 5, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      The recipe thing is still a work in progress, normally if I have left the recipe in the text it is because its me experimenting and not confident that the results will be repeatable…
      Its funny with the gift horse thing, its one of those sayings I had never thought about until now, but makes sense….
      Ps your invite to our version of the royal wedding should be on its it way…..

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