For the second year in a row, the quaint little town of Pennisula, Ohio held it's Ramp Up Festival in celebration of the wild leeks known as ramps. Highly prized for their flavor, ramps have gained a cult following among foodies and chefs alike They are foraged, not farmed, preferring to grow in the shade of hardwood forests. Their season begins in early spring and is brief, adding to their demand. I missed out on last year's festival so I was determined to make my way down to Pennisula this year. It was a beautiful day, cool but sunny. Ramps were everywhere, (dare I say they were rampant?) They could be found in drinks, candy, french fries, even pierogies. It was great fun and I returned home with a big bag of freshly dug ramps.
So you may be wondering what ramps taste like? They are often described as a cross between a garlic and an onion with a wild, woodsy flavor. They were particularly tasty in this frittata. You can substitute leeks or green onions if ramps aren't available.
Ramp Frittata with Asparagus and Potatoes
makes one -9 or- 10 inch frittata
- 2 cups ramps, cleaned, both white and green parts chopped
- 1 cup fresh asparagus, sliced into 1/2" pieces
- 1-1/2 lbs. red potatoes, skins left on, thinly sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (this goes fast with a mandolin)
- 10 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (scant) olive oil, plus extra for roasting potatoes and asparagus
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450F and position your oven rack so it is in the center.
Toss the potatoes with 2 T. olive oil and a liberal sprinkling of salt. Roast in a sheet pan until lightly browned and tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Repeat with the asparagus, roasting them about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Saute the chopped ramps in a skillet with 1 T. oil or butter until the greens wilt, a minute or two. Set aside to cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 350F.
Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, asparagus, and ramps. Stir to combine.
Heat a scant 1/4 cup olive oil in a cast iron 9 or 10 inch skillet until the oil just begins to smoke. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook for 1 minute to set the bottom and create a nice brown crust.
Move the pan into the oven and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch. It should be nicely browned, but if it's not, you can set it under the broiler for a few seconds, but watch it carefully so that it doesn't burn.
Remove the frittata from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before slicing. You can also turn it onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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