It was Isaac’s birthday on Sunday.
I had to give him his birthday present a month early so that I would have a kayaking friend up in the Adirondacks. So for his actual birthday I declared it an Isaac-gets-to-do-whatever-he-wants weekend. Lucky for me that meant kayaking, lamb burgers and a really nice hike.
Hiking is nice. But hiking with food is better!
There is no surer sign that Spring has returned than the reappearance of ramps.
In years past, I was a part of the ravening hoard of ramp “hunters” at the Union Square greenmarket, marching from booth to booth until a waft of earthy, oniony air would hit my nose and stop me in my tracks. But for some reason, this year, I had lost all enthusiasm for them. They just didn’t seem special anymore.
Then on Saturday when I called my mom to make plans for our dinner at Local 111, she asked “Do you think they’ll have ramps?” I said I thought they would. And they did; in a spring onion soup, alongside low-poached swordfish, and accompanying a local steak.
The soup was delicious, light and pleasant in a way that’s hard to do. It wasn’t too “green”, as if it had been overloaded with spinach, nor was it too bitter, as can happen when you add too many raw alliums. It was perfect topped by lumps of sweet, briny crab. The encapsulation of Spring in a bowl.
And then there was the side of pickled ramps my mom ordered. Tinted ever so slightly daffodil-yellow by turmeric, they were piquant in the most pleasant way. Ramp-mania had indeed returned!
Want to find out where we went foraging for ramps? Find out after the jump.