Ramps: back in all their pungent glory! And enjoyed in this evening’s lentil soup (those fancy new French lentils, of course) along with spinach, also just making its spring debut at farmers’ market.
The three-or-so-week-long season of the springtime wonder food known as ramps is upon us once again! Otherwise known as wild leeks, these guys are a foody’s version of Popeye’s spinach, packed with all the spine and gumption a person needs for the “cruelest month” (April)!
This past Saturday (April 17th) was the three-week “anniversary” of the return of ramps to the Union Square Farmers’ market. They’ve been purveyed (to any serious extent) by just one farm–as they have been for the past few years–but today when I made a run up there (for milk for making yogurt and to drop off my food scraps with the folks who collect them for making compost), it seemed as if there were ramps for sale at just about every other stand! Ramps have hit the big-time for sure! And if their density at the Greenmarket weren’t enough to show it, there was a post on Huffington Post yesterday all about ramps on the Earth Day menu at Lupa; mmm, they do look good! And here they are (this from the Lupa site) getting ready to be cooked!
Speaking of Lupa makes me think of when Nancy and Dick and Alexa and I all went there about this time a couple years ago, which was the last time Nancy and Dick were here, the last time before this most recent time, that is, which was the week before the ramps arrived!
We had a great time; here is their visit in a list of lists:
2 plays: Ibsen’s Enemy of the People, Shakespeare’s As You Like It
1 concert: at the Met
1 car trip (!!): to Ocean City NJ to see Rod!
. . . and a week-long transition from near winter (low temperature was 29 the first day they were here and torrential rain for the next couple of days) to pretty seriously spring with temps flirting with the 70-degree mark the day before they left!
It’s still on the “brisk” side here in NYC, but the tulip trees (or what I call the tulip trees) are starting to bloom and even more significantly, ramps have appeared for their annual ultra-short but gastronomically acclaimed run at the Union Square farmers’ market. Ramps (read more about them here), otherwise known as Allium tricoccum and A. burdickii–or wild leeks–are super-delicious in omelettes or sauteed with mushrooms and served on polenta . . . whatever a person does with them, there’re a sure sign that spring is here: as I was buying mine at farmers’ market on Saturday, all of the other shoppers lined up for them were exclaiming — ah, ramps! spring is here!
That was yesterday; today, I logged some bike miles getting ready for another NYC spring event: the Five Boro Bike-Ride! 42 miles, through all the boroughs of New York City, starting in lower Manhattan and finishing there too by way of the Staten Island Ferry, and made possible (for me) by Amy and Lib’s being able to do it with me (yay)! So today I rode ten miles–up to 86th street and back on the bike path–next week I’ll go further! It was super super windy today; see windy-ness exhibit A at right (the flags!).
Before Amy and Lib come to visit, though, Arcadia will be here–to see the Bonnard “Interiors” exhibit at the Met–more anon on that!!