Monday, May 24, 2010
Foods of Spring: Fiddleheads, Ramps and Morels
We have been indulging in the food of spring at our house this week thanks to my best friend Louis. To say we are in heaven doesn’t even begin to cover it. We have both been enjoying every luxurious bite. This is the birthday present that just keeps on giving. This post is going to be about these foods and the method for dinner rather than I a recipe since I don’t expect many of you have these in your refrigerator.
This luscious spring delicacy is the unfurled frond of a fern. It is easy to cook and reminds me of asparagus. It is also typically used the same way. I blanched it briefly then dropped it in ice bath to stop the cooking. It is great with lemon juice or just by itself. The taste is light and the texture is crunchy. Even my elderly parents like fiddleheads. Go figure!
These little darlings are also called wild leeks. The taste is more pungent than a shallot but not as harsh as a yellow onion. The aroma however is much more intense. I like to grill them, which is how we had them tonight. But you can also slice and sauté them.
Who doesn’t love a fresh morel? I don’t know of anyone. These are my husband’s favorite mushrooms. He is enjoying this part of my birthday present as much if not more than I am. They frequently have little critters in them so I like to quickly submerge them to make certain the unwanted guests have evacuated.
In the past I would have sautéed these in butter. Tonight I used water and the flavor of the morel was more intense, I think because the aroma wasn’t muted by fat. I was worried about not using butter for these but I think they actually were better. This was not at all what I expected but a very pleasant surprise.
I grilled a few ramps until the bulb of the ramps were tender, it mellows the taste. Then I water sautéed the morels for a couple minutes, add the blanched fiddleheads and a few halved cherry tomatoes. I served this over a little brown basmati rice. We used a little squirt of fresh lemon juice but a dash of truffle or walnut oil would have been great here too.
I learned quite a few interesting nutrition items today. I hope to have a post ready tomorrow on the usable nutrition information. Some of it is really too theoretical to put to use.
I hope you had a good Monday. Talk to you all tomorrow.