If you ask me what spring means to me, on a “local” level, I’d have to say “morels and ramps” – they are so full flavored, but so fleeting. You literally blink and the season for both are over. So when I heard about the Art You Eat #3: Go Local blogging event, I knew my dish for the event would need to feature both.
The ravioli are veal and truffle ravioli from Pastaria in the North Market. I figured it would be lovely base for the sauce. I found the ramps no problem – they are from Athens, Ohio, and I was able to find them easily at The Greener Grocer in the North Market, the produce stand that took over the space that used to be North Market Produce. The owners are involved with Local Matters and focus on sustainable/local foods, which is really nice. I was hoping I’d find morels there too, but there is currently a waiting list and they’re going for $55/lb. But they did have the local Snowville Creamery’s cream I needed. After a few false starts, I did manage to finally find morels at Weiland’s, for $48/lb. I picked up about a half a pound of them to use in my dish. While at Weiland’s, I also spied some really lovely veal scallops, and bought a pound of those. The other items in the recipe I pretty much already had on hand. I couldn’t for the life of me find the chervil the recipe was calling for, so I modified and used a touch of dried fines herbes, which contain chervil as one of its ingredients.
The recipe below is highly modified from the original – I kind of combined two recipes together to make one, and the original called for a cup of chicken broth concentrate (base) – needless to say, that would have been real overkill, and it was salty enough with just a fraction of that amount that I had to add extra cream to mellow it out. I’d recommend using only a couple of tablespoons of base at the most. And in the future, I’d probably caramelize the ramps separately (or chop them into more manageable pieces), because even after cooking them for a while, they were a little tough. But other than that? It tasted like a dream, and has inspired me to cook more with both these ingredients while the getting is good. What do YOU like to do with ramps and/or morels?
1 lb. ravioli (of whatever complimentary flavor you wish – I used veal truffle ravioli)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tsp. shallots, finely chopped
1/2 lb. fresh morels, washed and halved lengthwise
1 c. dry white wine
2 bunches (around 18 total) ramps
2 tbsp. chicken base
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. veal scalloppini (cut into about 12 pieces)
salt and pepper (may not need additional seasoning)
1/2 c. heavy cream (or more, if necessary)
1 tsp. fines herbes
In a large frying pan, heat half the oil, then add shallots and saute until they begin to brown. Add morels and cook until their juices release, then add wine. Bring to a boil and reduce liquid by half. Add ramps, then base (with enough water to equal one cup), and simmer 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
In a new frying pan, heat remaining oil. Add butter. Season veal, and then saute for 2-3 minutes each side, or until browned. Remove and keep warm.
Add mushroom-ramp mixture to pan and bring to a boil, scraping bottom of pan to deglaze. Add cream, stir to combine, and then add veal with any juices and stir to coat with sauce. Check seasoning level and add fines herbes.
Prepare the ravioli and then place on plate and top with vegetables, veal, and sauce. Serve and enjoy.