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meatless monday: pan-seared ramps gnocchi

May 9, 2011

I never knew ramps existed. It wasn’t until the elusive baerlauch started showing up on Swiss menus everywhere during our first year in Switzerland that I started to learn more about this fun green. So, it seems not only natural but perfectly harmless that I would look for ramps now that Mr. KC and I were back in the U.S.. I had no clue that in my absence, ramps-fever had swept the U.S. and this was THE trendy ingredient du jour.

Setting aside any feelings of being a complete hipster, my search for ramps continued and when I finally tracked them down and knew exactly that these beauties were destined for great things as lovely, pillowy, herby gnocchi. The recipe came from a cookbook from Boston cooks and was adapted to incorporate the ramps. The flavor is HEAVY on ramps (consider yourself warned) and next time, I might blanch the leaves or pan fry as it helps make the taste a bit milder. I might also add another spice to the gnocchi to round out the taste. A pinch of nutmeg or cayenne would do great things.

pan-seared ramps gnocchi
adapted from The Boston Chef’s Table

ingredients

  • 1 lb baking potatoes, scrubbed, but not peeled
  • 1 bunch ramps
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 extra large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick the potatoes in several places with a fork so steam can escape.
  2. Bake potatoes for about 1 hour or until tender.
  3. While potatoes are still warm, cut them in half, scoop the meat out and push through a ricer (a strainer with small holes will also work)
  4. When waiting for potatoes to bake, sautee ramps in a tiny bit of olive oil.
  5. Remove from pan, a chop into small pieces (do not use a food process for this as it will make it mushy)
  6. In a large bowl, mix ramps, ricotta and egg.
  7. Add riced potatoes and 1/4 cup of parmigiano.
  8. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  9.  Fold in flour.
  10. Turn mixture onto a floured surface and knead until it’s smooth–this actually took a lot more flour for me possibly another 1/2 cup or so.
  11. Break dough into 3 or 4 pieces and roll each piece into logs about 1/2 inch in diameter.
  12. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces and dust pieces again with flour so they don’t stick together.
  13. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  14. Add gnocchi and cook at a gentle boil for about 5-6 minutes or until they float to the top.
  15. While gnocchi are cooking in water, heat up butter over medium-high heat in a pan and allow to slightly brown.
  16. Using a slotted spoon, remove gnocchi from water and add to pan. Allow to brown for 3 minutes on each side.
  17. Serve with remaining parmigiano.
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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 12:08 pm

    I’ve never heard of ramps till now, and you’ve got me intrigued! These look really great, and perfect for a meatless monday 🙂

    • May 12, 2011 12:00 am

      They are also known as wild ramps, but truth be told I never heard of them before switzerland. My favorite recipe to date is still the buttermilk biscuit recipe I made with them about a year ago. If you find ramps I highly recommend starting with that recipe. Loved it!

      • dad permalink
        May 18, 2011 6:50 pm

        If I am not mistaken you were born in the city of ramps. Translated from the indians who lived here ,Chicagou. My kind of town!!!!

      • May 19, 2011 11:07 am

        Turns out you are right! Which brings up a very good question: how did I grow up in Chicago and never have these until I moved half-way around the world to Switzerland? Ahem.

  2. December 24, 2011 3:44 pm

    I really like your blog. You’ve got some great recipes. I also just noticed you live in Boston (when you aren’t traveling) too! 🙂

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