We're nearing the end of the all-too-brief ramp season here on the East Coast.
So far, I've been trying to get the most out of ramp availability this spring. In April I taught two classes on Asian cooking using seasonal ingredients and managed to get a bunch of students addicted to these delicious wild leeks. We stuffed them into dumplings, used them in a lamb stir-fry, and even garnished cold sesame noodles with them.
At home, I've also tried to cook with ramps every chance I got, wherever and whenever I'd normally use scallions, garlic, onions, or shallots. But the quickest, easiest, and by far most comforting dish is fried eggs.
Over the weekend I made some variation of fried eggs with ramps exactly 4 times. Twice with sautéed fiddlehead ferns, twice with crispy kale. Though the rareness of fiddlehead ferns (since their short foraging season coincides with that of ramps) makes them the perfect pair on the plate, being able to just toss in kale without par-boiling makes the latter a new favorite 5-minute dish.
Well, at least for a short window every year.
This beautiful runny mess is great for a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a 2 a.m. meal after a night out.
Fried Eggs with Crispy Kale and Ramps
Serves 1 very hungry person
- 3 stalks ramps
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 handful kale leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Clean the ramps and dry with a kitchen towel. Separate the leaves from the bulbs. Finely chop the bulbs. The leaves can stay whole or you can roughly chop them.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté the ramp bulbs for about 1 minute. Add the kale and sauté for about 2 minutes, until the edges crisp up and the centers start to wilt. Add the ramp leaves and cook for 30 seconds or so.
- Pour the eggs over the ramps and kale. With a spatula, gently spread the eggs whites out into a thin layer all around the skillet (the yolks may also break at this point, which is okay.) Cook the eggs until the desired level of doneness.*** Sprinkle your desired amount of salt and pepper on top. To transfer the eggs, tip the skillet and carefully slide everything onto a large plate.
Note: ***I like to leave the yolks runny, but if you’re concerned about food-borne illnesses, cook the eggs until well-done.