Ramps & Roots

April 29, 2015

 

 

Sautéed ramps, roasted new potatoes & purple radishes, Pecorino Romano cheese, tarragon vinaigrette

Ramps are one of my favorite seasonal finds. Maybe it's because of the idea that if I really wanted to, I could go forage for them on my own—even though in reality, I just purchase them at farmers' markets. But there's a world where it could happen. Someday, maybe. Or the appeal could also be because ramps are one of the daintiest members of the allium family, and yet are still super flavorful, combining garlic and onion in a single bite. I don't care how trendy they are, it is a bandwagon that I am definitely not too cool for.

 

 

Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough

olive oil

salt & pepper

flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone

handful of grated or shredded Pecorino Romano

5 ounces ramps, bulbs chopped and leaves separated & sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons

~8 radishes (purple ones if you can find them, but other colors work too), halved or quartered to get them to a uniform size

12 ounces new potatoes, cut to a similar size as the radishes (or slightly smaller even)

 

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 large shallot (or 1 small), minced

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Toss your potatoes with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and some salt & pepper, then spread them out on a baking sheet. Do the same for your radishes (cut sides down) on a separate baking sheet.

 

Now start with your potatoes, roasting them for about 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway, until crisp and golden on the outside and tender on the inside—don't overdo it, since they will be going back into the oven again with the rest of the pizza.

 

Take them out and increase your oven temperature to 425° F. When it's hot, roast your radishes for about 15 minutes, until crisp-tender, giving them a shake halfway through so they don't burn. When they're finished, take them out and increase your oven temperature to 550° F, or as hot as it will go.

 

Meanwhile, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium, then add your ramp bulbs and sauté for a couple minutes until translucent. Next, add the leaves and cook for a couple more minutes until everything is soft.

 

Make your vinaigrette by combining all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl. Slowly pour in the oil, whisking all the while, until emulsified. Season to taste with salt & fresh cracked pepper.

 

Combine your radishes, potatoes & ramps in a bowl and toss them with most of the dressing. When your oven is hot, preparing your dough using the instructions on the right.  After you've pre-baked it, take it out of the oven and brush it lightly with olive oil.

 

Cover your pizza dough with an even layer of the Pecorino Romano. Now add the veggie mixture, making sure there is an even distribution of everything across the pizza. If you like, you can drizzle the entire thing with a little extra vinaigrette.

 

Pop your pizza in the oven and bake until the cheese is melty and the crust is a nice golden brown. Take it out, sprinkle with a little extra lemon zest for brightness (optional), and enjoy!

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HOW TO PREPARE DOUGH

#1 

Start stretching it from the center, then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. It helps to put some olive oil on your hands first.

 

#2

Place the dough on your floured surface & push it out with your fingertips until it's the size of your pizza stone. You can fold over the edges to create an extra fluffy crust.

 

#3

When the oven is hot (preheat it with the stone inside), sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone and place your dough on it.

#4

Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble, then take it out. This last step isn't 100% necessary, but I feel like it adds a little extra crispiness to the crust.

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