I know that Spring has arrived when I am served an omelette with ramps (wild baby leeks) and Gruyere cheese. Now, I have eaten hundreds of omelettes in my lifetime, but the combination of ramps and gruyere makes all the difference in the world. For those unfamiliar with ramps, they grow along the Atlantic seaboard from April through May.
Generally hand-picked, ramps can be found in most specialty/organic groceries in April and well into early May. They have a distinctive taste that is somewhat of a cross between a new onion and a mild garlic. Found below is a rather ancient recipe from the New York Times for a ramps and Gruyère omelette. Sadly, I can’t remember the author.
Ramps and Gruyère Omelette
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 4 large eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs of butter
- 1/2 cup of chopped ramps
- 1 ounce Gruyère, grated
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and beat lightly with a fork
- Heat an omelette pan over medium heat and add the butter.
- When the butter begins to sizzle add the chopped ramps and cook for 30 seconds or so until softened.
- Pour the eggs into the pan and gently incorporate the ramps
- As the eggs begin to set, tilt the pan and and lift the edges of the omelette to allow any of the uncooked egg to settle to the bottom of the pan.
- Cook for another minute or so and sprinkle the grated Gruyère over the omelette
- With a spatula, fold the omelette into thirds and tip the omelette onto a platter seam-side down
- Serve immediately
This is a great way to kick off Spring with a delicious ramps omelette. Mind you, there are plenty of other ways to use ramps, such as with poached eggs, served in pasta or risotto, but act quickly since they tend to disappear from local food markets or your grocery store within two to three weeks.
Ramps signify to me that it is time to dust off my golf clubs and shed a few pounds of winter fat and lower my handicap this year.