Sunday, May 11, 2008

I love Spring!

Today I worked on 3 recipes for a Spring cooking class that's coming up.

Lemon-Butter Pasta with Fiddlehead Ferns

1/4 lb. Fiddlehead ferns, cleaned and trimmed
6 ramps, chopped (green leaves and all)
12 oz. package pasta
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp agave nectar
1/4 cup pinenuts

Start a pot of water boiling- this will be your water for blanching the fiddleheads and also cooking the pasta. When boiling, drop in your prepped fiddleheads and cook for 2 minutes. Then fish out your ferns and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Return water to a boil and cook your pasta according to package directions. When pasta is done and drained, heat Earth Balance in a large skillet. Add the ramps and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add lemon juice, salt, agave nectar, and ferns. Taste sauce and adjust to your liking- it should taste stronger than you'd want. Add the pasta and toss to coat, removing pan from heat. In a separate dry skillet, toast the pinenuts until lightly brown. Sprinkle over the pasta and serve! This one is also good cold.

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Ramp Spread

4 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/2 cup very hot or boiling water
5 ramps
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup veganaise

Put the tomatoes in a bowl and cover with the hot water. Soak for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the white portion of the ramps and reserve the leaves. Combine white parts of ramps, tomatoes (reserve the soaking liquid), cream cheese, and veganaise in a small food processor and whiz around until mostly smooth. If texture is too thick, just add a bit of the tomato soaking water and process again. Transfer spread to a serving bowl. Slice about 6 of the ramp leaves very thinly and stir these into the spread. This is great on a baguette, but would also be good thinned out and used as a veggie dip. Want a stronger ramp flavor? Let this spread sit in the fridge for a few hours and you'll be impressed.

Last I made a Spring Sushi. I'm not going to type up a recipe for this one because I'm feeling tired and any old sushi rice recipe will work. These are filled with asparagus, ramps, and red pepper. Some are smeared with wasabi mayo inside, too. Next time I'll add thinly sliced radishes, too. We're all getting these packed in our lunches tomorrow!

After this cooking extravaganza, I worked in the garden for about 3 hours. I did a lot of seed planting, transplanting, and clearing out of old plants. Then I ran soaker hoses throughout the whole garden so that I'll never have to stand there with a hose to water the garden. It works beautifully! I used 3-50 ft. hoses connected together and was able to reach each garden bed and the berry patch out back. I'll post pictures later.

And what does a girl do after cooking all afternoon and gardening all evening? She spends $45 ordering Pizza Luce for the family. How is it that 2 eight-year-olds can eat an entire 16" pizza themselves? And what am I going to do when they are teenagers?


Anonymous said...

that pasta looks yummy! i might need to get more ramps. do you teach cooking classes? that sound very exciting.

as to pizza luce, my partner (at 27) could eat nearly a whole one herself (it's a good thing we do half vegan and half vegetarian so i can keep tabs on which slices are mine!).

pavotrouge said...

crazy american ingredients again ^^ I've never seen fiddlehead ferns IRL, what do they taste like? and what are ramps?!

jessy said...

oh my goodness - it all looks so tasty! i've seen some fiddlehead ferns, but i've never actually had any. i might just have to give them a shot - they look so good! :)

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Oh YAY! I was just wondering about fiddleheads! Our farmer's market has them by the basket-full!

"How is it that 2 eight-year-olds can eat an entire 16" pizza themselves? And what am I going to do when they are teenagers?"
Oh dear, dear, dear... you simply own stock in the pizza company by that point, because they will eat you out of house and home and bank account... and still be starving... poor things! (HA!)