Monday, May 7, 2018

Ramp Deviled Eggs

After years of keeping my eyes to the ground, Rick and I finally found some ramps yesterday in Nebraska. They're not very common here, but there are some pockets in the state that do hold them. According to a biologist friend, ramps like eastern deciduous forest-type habitats, which aren't abundant in this state. I'm keeping this little patch a secret, but if you are lucky enough to find a patch, please don't over harvest them. 

I've learned a lot about foraging on Hank Shaw's Facebook group "Hunt Gather Cook," and users seem to be in agreement that the best way to harvest ramps is by pulling small bundles here and there, scattering your digging throughout the patch. This gives the patch more breathing room, which will promote more growth. Don't just pick one side and dig the crap out of it. Some people choose to cut the tops only, but the bulbs are where most of the flavor and crunchy texture is located.

I've read lots of reports by foragers who say that commercial harvesting is destroying ramp populations in other states. This is sad. For the most part, I don't think wild edibles, including plants, game and fish, should be allowed to be gathered and sold commercially. We have that law for game, why not plants? 

Here's a recipe for ramp deviled eggs with flying fish roe on top. You can go more classic and skip the roe for a sprinkle of paprika on top, but why would you? Live a little. These tasted so good with champagne. I also found that they keep well inside a container in the refrigerator overnight. 

Also, if you're not following us on Instagram, you NEED to be. We're not posting as much as we used to here due to all the commissioned work we've been doing-- hey, got bills to pay-- but we're really active on Instagram if you want to keep up with what we're doing. Our handle is naturally @foodforhunters and hashtag #foodforhunters: https://www.instagram.com/foodforhunters/

Servings: 4 appetizers
Prep and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
- 10 large eggs
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of light mayonnaise
- Splash of seasoned rice vinegar
- Generous pinch of sumac
- 3-4 ramps, white and purple parts minced
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- About 1/8 cup of flying fish roe (tobiko)

Directions:

1. Lay eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring to an easy boil-- be careful not to let eggs crack. If your stove is electric, turn off the heat, cover and allow eggs to sit for 10 minutes. If your stove is gas, allow eggs to simmer for 1 minute, then turn off heat, cover and allow eggs to sit for 10 minutes. 

2. Run cold water over eggs until they're cool enough to handle. Peel them and cut each egg in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolk into a medium bowl and whip until smooth with mayo, rice vinegar, sumac, minced ramps bottoms, and cracked pepper. I never actually measured any of the ingredients. It's deviled eggs-- season it the way you like it. You shouldn't need to add any salt with all the salt in the mayo, seasoned vinegar and the roe. 

3. Scoop yolk mixture into a sandwich-size zip-top bag. Snip off a corner of the bag, a big enough hole for ingredients to smoothly pipe out. Then pipe yolk mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with a little bit of flying fish roe on top and some finely chopped ramp green tops for color. Keep cold until you're ready to serve.


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