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Purple Flower, Fuji FinePix

Springtime is my favorite time of year, if for one singular reason: Farmer’s Market. There is nothing better than biking downtown to travel around the nation’s largest farmer’s market, wandering from stand to stand choosing the most beautiful and brilliant produce to bring home and devour in unique and creative recipes. From my weekly purchase of eggs and a cup of chai to each week’s newly in-season produce, the market is never lacking inspiration and excitement.

The local Saturday market has been going for a few weeks now, and I’m still enjoying the abundance of that first week. Each time I open my fridge, I am elated with the possibilities awaiting my dinner table. It’s like a Cracker Jack toy on each shelf!

My hands-down favorite spring vegetable is ramps. Not quite garlic, not quite leek, ramps bring a unique flavor of springtime meadows and dew-covered forests to any dish. Sauteed, stir-fried, or sliced and eaten raw in a salad, ramps are an incredible addition any homemade Springtime meal.

Ramps, Fuji FinePix

Last Saturday, due to an incredibly packed weekend schedule, I chose to forgo the farmer’s market in exchange for a quiet backyard breakfast with my housemate. Inspired by the contents of our crisper drawer and a dream I had on Friday night, we dove into the kitchen and cooked up in hurry a delectable brunch for a perfect sunny morning.

Ramp and Asparagus Crepes with Clementines

Crepe Batter:
* 1 large egg
* 1 1/4 cups plain soy milk
* 1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
* pinch salt
* dash vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Set aside to sit for a few moments.

Heat an omelette or crepe pan (something heavy, 6 to 7 inches, nonstick is better). When hot, drizzle the pan with some canola oil and swirl to coat. When water splashed in the pan sizzles on contact, the pan is ready. Pour in approximately 1/4 cup of batter and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. When the top of the crepe starts to show air bubbles and the edges are firm, flip (either with a spatula or by the ultra-cool “in the air” method) the crepe to continue cooking. After a minute or so, slide the crepe from the pan onto a waiting plate. Repeat with the remaining batter until all crepes are cooked.

Filling:
* Two ramps, chopped bulb and leaf
* One bunch asparagus, stalk ends removed, snapped
* Salt and white pepper, to taste
* Several sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stem
* Roasted almonds, roughly chopped

Saute the ramps and asparagus in a skillet with some olive oil. When the leaves of the ramps begin to wilt, season with salt and pepper. As the asparagus is tender to a fork, reduce heat, add the thyme, and cover to flavor. After a few minutes, remove from heat, toss in the almonds, and cover for another 30 seconds.

Place your crepe wrapper on a flat surface. Fill with a goodly amount of vegetables and fold closed. Serve with a freshly-peeled clementine and a tall glass of sparkling water (or, my favorite, a flute of sparkling white wine).

*Sorry, I completely forgot to take a photograph of these before we devoured them. But trust me, they were both delicious and beautiful!

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