Things to do with Ramps, Part 1: Two thinks that I love are Chimichurri (Sauce) and Ramps (German: Bärlauch). If you don’t know what chimichurri is, the short answer is that it is a green sauce made of herbs, garlic, some acid (i.e. lemon or lime juice or vinegar), chiles (fresh or dried) and olive oil. Typically the herbs are parsley, and sometimes cilantro/coriander and sometimes oregano. It originates from Argentina, when it is traditionally put on steak, but it certainly can be put on other things. You’ll see a few examples of that in the next few days here.
My other love is ramps, which are also called wild garlic, ramsons, bear’s garlic, wild leeks, wild onions, bear’s weed, etc. In German, it is called Bärlauch and is one of those “must eat” things in the Spring (they are only available for a few short weeks). Anyway, given that I have a bunch of ramps, and it is Spring, I decided to add some of these to my latest batch of chimichurri. Huge success.
Here is my weekly contribution to the world of Internet Cookie Recipes. A twist on either your standard chocolate chip cookie or a twist on the good old cookie of the Oatmeal variety, this combines the best of both worlds, and adds some toffee bits and dried cranberries to boot. I have to say that these are some of the easiest cookies in the world to make to you don’t have an excuse not to grab your mixer and cookie sheets!
Note: I wanted to make these very much like Florentine cookies — i.e. very thin and flat. If you want a thicker cookie, with more chew, cool the cookie dough in the fridge for an hour or so before baking.
Savenor’s Market and Butcher Shop is right down the street from me. And by “right down the street”, I mean about a 6 minute walk. This is a really really good thing as they not only have the biggest selection of specialty meats (it’s where I have gotten rabbit, and duck, and venison steaks), but their cuts of meat are a cut abve, so to speak. Also, as I am a huge Julia Child fan, it’s always nice to think that it was “her butcher” here in Cambridge.
So I got myself this thick cut, bone in heritage chop. Including the brine time, it was on the table in under an hour and was simply the most flavorful pork chop that I have had in the US (note: I find the pork much more flavorful in Germany as a whole, but that is because they eat more pork as a culture and still have a greater selection of pork types; and they are bred differently). This is how I prepared it, along with some heirloom carrots and bacon wrapped asparagus.
Another Spring-like endeavor! And I think that Pea Pesto might be my favorite new type of pesto. It is light and refreshing and can be used cold as a spread as in this application, or used on pasta in a warm dish. This open-faced sandwich can be dressed up with the addition of cherry tomatoes too. Yum!
Random Story: Back in the day, when I lived in Seattle, Ben had a colleague from Iran (via Canada). When he found out that I was German, the very first thing that he said was “Oh, she must make great quiche!” This confused the heck out of me at the time because apparently Germans are great quiche bakers and I didn’t even know it. Turns out that I have no idea where he got this perception, but nevertheless to this day, I think of him whenever I make a quiche.