h1

Side dish. (CUCUMBER APPLE SAUTEE with RAMP BUTTER)

May 17, 2011

MG rides his bike with two saddle bags strapped to each side. When he comes through the door after work and opens them up, an unexpected treat usually comes out. The other day it was a dozen t-shirts, today it was a whole red snapper packed in ice and last week it was a couple of sausages and a nice block of ramp butter from Dickson’s Farmstand. That ramp butter took the prize.

A ramp is a wild baby leek, indigenous to the New York area. Small bulb with a thin leaf stalk, ramps are cute and delicious. Chefs and food writers go hellbent for them during their short appearance in the early spring. A way to prolong their pleasant stay is to blanch them quickly, chop and stir into some softened butter, as the Dickson’s crew did. Store it in the freezer and you can unleash the magic for seasons to come.

MG threw the sausages on the grill and I got to work on a few side dishes with whatever was loitering in the kitchen. There was at least an apple and a cucumber. Though I am not in the habit of cooking cucumbers, I recalled a recipe that comes from Australian superchef Stephanie Alexander in which the cukes are sauted in butter. Having tried it once as written the result was interesting but didn’t really have any pizzaz. I thought that problem could be remedied by adding some more dimension; bright red freckled apple for sweet and sour, ramp butter for its herbaceous onion-likeness to go with the unusual juicy/crisp warm cucumber. It really came together, turning out just perfect to buddy up with grilled food.

CUCUMBER APPLE SAUTEE with RAMP BUTTER

1 crisp red apple such as Fuji or Gala

1 English cucumber

3 tablespoons ramp butter

salt and pepper

  • Chop the apple and cucumber.
  • Heat the 2 tablespoons of ramp butter in a skillet until foamy.
  • Toss in apples and cucumbers and saute vigorously for 7-10 minutes.
  • Taste for desired texture.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Taste again!
  • Spoon remaining ramp butter on top of warm cucumber and apples before serving.

One comment

  1. definitely the surprise, sleeper HIT of the delayed spring.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: