ramp, asparagus, and ricotta frittata

Before we get into it–an apology.

I’m just a little bit sorry for including ramps in this recipe. I’m sorry that the title of this post includes a food for which you might have to forage, most likely with someone who either 1) despite living in Brooklyn, seems to know their way around the woods better than one of the Boxcar children, or 2) is some old reclusive writer friend of your great uncle, who always makes the offer to show you his “ramp spot.” Perhaps it says something about my own insecurities, but ramps are one of those foods that tend to make me feel like I’m looking on at the cool kids from afar. Although I do come into a little bunch of ramps now and then, most of the time, I see beautiful recipes with ramps, and I just feel that they are out of my reach. It is not a particularly inclusive ingredient. However, when life gives you ramps…

And with all that, how did I manage to find these ramps to scatter and roast with the asparagus? That is a bit more of a story. But the short answer is–they were a gift.

This past weekend, we had a little party at the local kitchen shop, The Chef’s Shop, hosted both by them and The Bookloft. The promise was snacks, book signing, and demonstrations, and we got most of that accomplished. I have to say, one great thing about living in a small town is that people really show up for a party, and we had a busy crowd on Saturday afternoon. My mother and I had been cooking for two days straight working on the snacks piece. We had 60 pop-tarts, piles of cheese crackers, wheat crackers, AND graham crackers. Maple popcorn, granola, two kinds of marshmallows, chai, hummus, and yogurt. There were lots of books, and the demonstrations almost happened, but I learned that cooking and signing are not complimentary activities. Apologies to anyone who went home with lemon juice on their book. Hopefully, it will be the first of many stains. Here’s a peek at the afternoon (with many thanks to my sister, Maia, for recording the whole thing).

A few friends even took the long trek from out of town- Nikki, and Kari, and Cristina (a new friend!) from the From Scratch Club in New York state. Christina walked in with her mother and a bunch of ramps, and after I squeezed out from behind the table to give her a hug, she presented me with the ramps that she had foraged from the farmers’ market in far away Saratoga Springs. Over the next few hours, those ramps sat on the table, and their perfume made me drunk. I was hungry, and just a little preoccupied by those ramps and what I would do with them when we were alone in in the kitchen.

Towards the end of the afternoon, in the hopes of living up to my promise of demonstrating something, I started squeezing lemons for ricotta. By the time it was ready, the party over, and there were just a few stragglers waiting patiently for their dixie cup of ricotta. I passed out the ricotta, happy, tired, and looking forward to a big glass of water (then a big glass of wine), and there they were, side by side on the table, warm ricotta and ramps. It was all I could do not to pull a cast iron pan off the shelf of The Chef’s Shop and make the frittata right there. Like I said, I was hungry.

Before we get to the recipe, I just want to thank everyone for- well, honestly, for making me feel so good, and welcome in your kitchens this past week. Thank you for your comments, and for your emails, and for asking me when I’ll be in your town and then offering your couch to sleep on. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart and my belly.

Also, I need to tell you- there’s a typo in the book! With many thanks to a reader who expressed concern that the white bread recipe seemed a tad high on the salt, I’m so happy to at least be able to make the correction here and now. On page 214, in the recipe for “White Bread,” the actual amount of salt is 2 1/2 teaspoons (not tablespoons!). I’m sorry that I didn’t catch this error earlier, but if you’d be so kind as to make a note in your book, I’d be grateful.

And now, the frittata, which might just be my favorite in a long line of frittatas. It’s heavy on the ricotta, and the result is a bit denser and more substantial than a typical frittata. And if you  don’t have access to the ramps (or a hipster from Brooklyn or and old friend of your great uncle’s or a really nice woman on her way from the farmers’ market in Saratoga Springs), no need to worry. As ramps are wild leeks, regular old leeks will be a good second in their place. Scallions  or chives would also make a fitting replacement, but I’d recommend that you reduce the quantity by about half.


 

 


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8 Responses to ramp, asparagus, and ricotta frittata

  1. Eileen says:

    Ooh, sounds delicious! We used to get ramps from the farmer’s market when we lived in Brooklyn, but here in CA they just don’t exist. I think green garlic would be another good substitute. :)

  2. christina d says:

    Gah! So glad to see the ramps went into such a delicious dish- I would expect nothing less from you! YAY!

    Congrats on a super-successful book launch Alana. The party was so much fun and the food & company was amazing!

    Can’t wait for Sunday!

  3. Ruthy says:

    Such a good idea for ramps! Love the Brooklyn-boxcar comment LOL I think its so funny how ramps are like a “hipster” food, how can a humble little wild onion cause so much eye rolling? No idea, but they sure do :)
    Congrats on your book! Definitely looking forward to checking it out.

  4. Yay! Saturday was a smashing success and loved seeing you. I finished reading the Homemade Pantry on the car ride and as I’ve mentioned before, the book is beautiful in every way. Back when I lived in Ohio, ramps were all the rage, and were celebrated each Spring with a big dinner gathering hosted by a local farmer. This frittata looks like a good way to celebrate ramps this season.

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  7. Cindy Rosenbaum says:

    Hi Alana,

    I just bought ramps for the first time, and made this wonderful frittata on Sunday for brunch, with my homemade ricotta (thanks to you!). I took your advice and made the entire recipe to have leftovers for lunch. It was delicious! When I reheated it for lunch today, I topped it with some grated romano cheese, which added a bit of zing to it. We loved it! Thanks for the inspirational use of ramps!

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