This time of year, I really get excited about Spring vegetables. This Winter was a weird one in New York, not that cold, but then as soon as Spring was supposed to arrive, the weather turned really cold. It finally is feeling like we’ve turned the corner and that means the first Spring vegetables we see are the wild ones like ramps and fiddle-head ferns. Both are super nutrient dense and have a ton of flavor- ramps in a spicy sort of garlicky way and fiddle-heads are as bitter as can be and taste like the wild forest. I love them both!
This is a delicious dish that can be riffed on and used in many ways, but I was feeling like having it for lunch the other day so I’m going to call it a lunch dish. Feel free to improv and leave out the pancetta if that’s not your bag, or use the pesto on some grilled fish, meat or veggies. The idea is simply to play around with whatever is showing up in the farmer’s market.
For the Spring vegetables
- ¼ cup diced heritage pancetta or bacon
- 1 cup fiddle-head ferns, rinsed
- A small handful of ramp bulbs (set aside the greens for the pesto)
- 1 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 TBSP grass fed butter
- 1 TBSP champagne vinegar
- a handful of dandelion greens, roughly chopped
- Minced herbs like basil, chives, tarragon
- Sea salt
- In a small frying pan, heat of the pancetta or bacon until it begins to crisp up, then toss in the fiddle-heads, ramp bulbs, mushrooms and butter and sautee for a few minutes. Add in the garlic and season with salt and pepper then deglaze with the vinegar and toss in the herbs.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling water with some white wine vinegar in the water, poach four eggs, then set them aside.