If you’re someone who struggles with what to make for dinner every night, then using seasonal fruits and vegetables as your guide may change the way you think about cooking. If you really want to get in tune with nature, then foraging is a great way to take advantage of edible wild food that grows naturally around us. For example, blow your kids’ minds when you turn lemonade pink by using violets. Or, you can put your foraging and cooking skills to the test with this ramp and mushroom sauté recipe to create the ultimate spring dish.
Not familiar with ramps? Ramps are edible leafy green plants that carry a garlicky-onion aroma. For this reason, ramps are also known as wild leeks and can be found growing out of the ground in hardwood forests. If you happen to come across them, act fast as they are only around for a short period, from late April to early June. Be mindful of sustainable foraging practices and be sure to leave some ramps behind so they can continue to propogate. You may also find ramps at your local farmer’s markets if you’re lucky enough. These delicate greens are not only tasty but packed with vitamin A and C, so make it the spotlight of your daily meals.
When it comes to mushrooms, any variety would work well in this simple recipe. Oyster mushrooms are fabulous, though if you want to go all out on the wild spring produce theme, then morels are the mushroom to get — if you can find some. But please leave this task to your farmers or expert foragers as mushroom foraging can be quite dangerous if you aren't extremely well-versed in the difference between safe and poisonous mushroom varieties.
This easy sauté is the perfect dish for a busy weeknight because it only requires two main ingredients to make. All you need is a handful of ramps and mushrooms, plus pantry staples of olive oil, salt and pepper. Slice your vegetables into the desired size, place them in a sauté pan and cook until practically caramelized. Then it’s ready to eat.
This ramp and mushroom sauté recipe is delicious to accompany your favorite chicken recipe or alongside grilled salmon. It also goes great with eggs, either with scrambled eggs or in an omelet. This recipe also tastes amazing on its own and would make an absolutely perfect vegetarian dish that is cheap and easy to make.
Recipe by Annette Nielsen
10-12 ramps, root end trimmed and cleaned (use all parts – root bulb, stem and leaves, or use leaves as garnish)
1 1/2 pound pounds mushrooms, washed, woody ends discarded if necessary
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and coarse or sea salt, to taste
Step 1: Slice the ramps and mushrooms into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
Step 2: In a sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.
Step 3: Add the vegetables and toss frequently until they begin to caramelize. After 7 or 8 minutes, when they are just tender, place on a serving dish and let them stand for a few minutes before serving (they will continue to cook slightly before they begin to cool).