Wild Leeks

June 4, 2007

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Ramps impart a wonderful flavor to any dish that pairs well with garlic and leeks. Quickly sauteed with asparagus, morels, tossed with fresh pasta and you’re a star.

Alas, ’tis the end of the season and the only ramps left at the Greenmarket were forlorn and yellowed. Don’t fret, David, you can substitute the cultured varietal of leek for this dish. You may want to add some spring onion or spring garlic to the mix. If you’re fresh out of fish stock, use a crisp Sauvignon Blanc in its place.

Montauk Day Boat Scallops Poached in Lemon Broth with Ramps, Asparagus and Fingerling Potatoes for Two

Six big, fresh off the boat scallops
4 ramps
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and shaved as you see fit.
Small handful of fingerling potatoes, cut in half
2 cups lemon broth
Fresh cracked pink peppercorns
Sea salt
Trim the scallops and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Mince the white bulbs of the ramps. Trim the stems from the leaves, chop finely and set aside with your mise.

Saute the minced bulbs in 2 Tbs olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Add the lemon broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add the asparagus and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes more.

Remove the vegetables from the broth and pop them in a warm oven. Place the scallops in the simmering broth and poach for 2 minutes per side until just set. Remove the scallops, turn up the heat and add the ramp leaves. Wilt for a minute or two.

Plate the asparagus and potatoes, ladle the broth with ramp leaves and top with the scallops. Serve with Akakies Kir-Yianni Rose or the crisp Sauvignon Blanc you used instead of the fish stock.

The Lemon Broth
This broth is a simple fish stock further reduced with thin slices of lemon and fresh lemon juice added at the end.

2 pounds fish frames from sole, flounder or halibut, cut into 2-inch pieces and rinsed in cold water continuously for 10 minutes
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups water
1 large onion
1 stalk celery
1 medium carrot
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves and stems
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
Sea salt

In a medium stockpot, saute the onion in olive oil until glassy. Add the carrot, celery, sautee for 2 minutes more. Add the white wine, fish bones and water. Bring to a boil, skimming off the white foam from the top of the stock. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the herbs, peppercorns, salt and continue to gently simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the stock from the stove and strain though a fine-mesh strainer.

Return the stock to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add the sliced lemon and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Add the fresh lemon juice.

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