Recipe: Ramp Fritters
Is it me — or did you just start hearing about ramps in everything from frittata to jelly? I blame my ignorance on being more of a West Coast girl where Allium tricoccum, the North American species of wild onion, widespread across Eastern Canada and the East Coast, does not grow. Otherwise, I would have been eating and cooking with them as frequently as I do now.
Once initiated and like everyone else, I cannot get enough of their delicate flavor and silky soft greens. They are so beautiful as well, and upon first glance you might think there’s nothing there because surely you can’t eat the entire plant. Well, yes you can. From the tip of the diminutive white bulb to the top of lush bright green leaves, ramps are entirely edible and the flavor is a mixture of garlic, onions and leeks. In a word, heaven.
Once they’ve been cleaned they are also the easiest vegetable to prepare — they cook in a minute if you’re opting for a quick sauté in olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper. Recently, one of my clients who has a farm in Litchfield County started bringing large quantities of ramps back from the country to the city so I had to get creative; you don’t want to waste what some chefs consider a true delicacy. So after trying out a few recipes I landed on ramp fritters and loved the idea of their unique flavor embedded in crispy fritters accompanied by a zesty and spicy dipping sauce. The dish took minutes to make and even less time to devour so I share this with you as ramp season is brief. Enjoy!
Makes about 20 two-inch fritters.
14 oz. ramps
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup rice flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup milk
¾ cup light beer
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 4 cups)
1 cup mayonnaise plus 1/8 cup sriracha mixed for dipping
Lemon wedges (for serving)
Special equipment: A deep-fry thermometer
1. Remove any slippery outer layers from ramp bulbs, trim roots, then soak in a bowl of cold water, swishing around gently to loosen any dirt. Lift out ramps and blot dry with paper towels. Avoid cramming them in a salad spinner so as not to damage the delicate leaves.
2. Cut ramps into 1” pieces (you should get about 5 cups). Whisk all-purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Make a well in the center and pour in milk and beer; whisk until smooth. Fold in ramps.
3. Pour oil into a large cast-iron skillet fitted with thermometer to come 1” up sides and heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°. Working in batches, place ¼-cup mounds of batter into skillet and press down lightly to flatten and submerge. Fry, turning once, until fritters are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over and dipping sauce on the side.
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