Tastes of Spring – Ramp and Asparagus Quiche
This time of year brings on a celebratory air as our much-anticipated ramps have arrived and the hunting (and secret stash raiding) can begin. For those of you who are new to this local delicacy, ramps are a perennial wild spring onion found in many areas of Appalachia that have a strong garlicky odor. You can use them to ramp up almost any recipe that calls for onion or garlic and their shorter growing season makes them a delicious (and valuable) addition.
Where to buy? Due to their short season and popularity, the ramp is in limited supply at most local farmers markets so snag them while you can. You can also find an abundance of ramps, live music and clogging at the Waynesville’s 80th Annual Ramp Festival on May 4th from 11-4pm (said to be the oldest Ramp Festival in the world).
Asparagus and Ramp Quiche (makes 1 quiche)
For the crust:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of sugar
8 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon yogurt
up to 3 tablespoons ice water
In the bowl of your food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter by pulsing several times. Mix the yogurt and water, and then drizzle in to the dough and pulse several times.
Turn the dough onto a work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a 4” disc and wrap tightly with plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Liberally butter a 9” tart or quiche pan and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11” circle. Fold the dough into quarters and unfold inside the tart pan. Fold any over-hanging dough into the sides to reinforce. Poke all over with a fork, place a sheet of foil inside, place onto a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 2 minutes more. Remove from oven while you prepare the filling.
For the filling:
10 asparagus spears, rinsed with woody ends broken off
6 ramps, rinsed and chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes, and then immerse in ice water to stop cooking. Chop the spears into thirds and set aside.
In a medium skillet heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the ramps and saute for 8 minutes, until they are tender and quite fragrant. Add the asparagus, salt, and pepper, and saute for 2 more minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add the sauteed vegetables, and stir. Add 3 tablespoons of Pecorino and stir. Place the quiche shell onto a rimmed baking sheet, gently pour the egg mixture into the shell, and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, or just until the quiche has set up. (Recipe via Brooklyn Supper.net)