Recipe: Polenta with Ramps and Peas

It may seem a bit strange to offer up a recipe where none of the main named ingredients are in this week’s CSA box, but we think this will actually make sense with a little innovation.  The recipe is from Coconut and Quinoa.  Instead of ramps, you can certainly use the leeks from this week’s CSA, or wait a week or so and use green garlic.  In a few weeks, we will have peas, so if you try this with frozen peas now and like it, you can try it again with fresh – either sugar pod or English.  Ramps we won’t be offering this season – we are trying to grow this wild onion variant, but it likes more water than we can spare, so we only have a little test plot for now.  Maybe next year….

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Spring lunch

 

The arresting yellow color and aroma of open daffodils beside me, the blinding white blossom outside, slowly giving way to green leaves and the fresh cool breeze entering through the just open window, is a delightful reminder of what’s to come. Since it’s still chilly out a comforting bowl of warm polenta topped with the unique flavors of early spring is just what I crave.  More.

There are no local peas available here yet, so I used frozen. If you use fresh, blanch them for a minute or two first. I bought 2 bunches of ramps and used them all. Be sure to wash them well, as they tend to be gritty. You could replace them with a couple of leeks, using the white and green parts.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup corn grits
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling.
  • ½ cup sliced ramp stems (1/2 inch pieces)
  • 2 cups chopped ramp leaves (1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh goat cheese, about 3 ounces

Procedure

  1. Add the water, bay leaves, rosemary and ½ a teaspoon of salt to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and rosemary, raise heat and return to a boil. Slowly pour the corn grits in, whisking as you go. Continue whisking, once mixture is boiling, lower heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy. To prevent lumps and the mixture sticking to the pot, whisk every couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and additional salt to taste. Cover pot while you cook the ramps and peas.
  3. In a skillet or frying pan, warm remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ramp stems and a pinch of salt and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in ramp leaves and peas and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes or until leaves are wilted and peas are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon polenta into bowls and divide the ramps and peas between the bowls. Top with crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Notes

  • Serves 2 generous portions, with a little extra polenta.

–posted by Steven

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