Tag Archives: pea shoots

Ramped Up Crostini with Ricotta and Pea Shoots

~ Crostini with Ramps, Pea Shoots, Ricotta, Mint and Lemon ~

Spring is the time of new beginnings when fresh shoots and early leaves offer a taste of the season to come. Like a teen, these less mature greens are a contrast of nice and naughty – tender yet sharp in flavors that will develop and smooth with maturity. In this simple recipe, chopped ramps add bite and attitude to fluffy ricotta which is smeared over crostini and topped with a jumble of sweet, tender pea shoots.  Little else is needed except a pinch of fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon to shout spring and make these crostini pop.

Note: This recipe is a finalist this week in Food52’s recipe contest for “your best allum.”  Head over to Food52 and check out the contest and all of the other delicious goodies on their site, which just received an award from the James Beard Foundation for Publication of the Year!

Crostini with Ramps and Shoots

Ramps are wild leeks and resemble a scallion. Their long, broad green leaves and burgundy tinged bulb are edible. Green garlic is young garlic and also resembles a scallion. Green garlic may be substituted for the ramps.

Makes 8

8 one-inch thick baguette slices, sliced on the diagonal
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped ramps or green garlic, bulbs and stems only
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Generous handful pea shoots
1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly brush bagette slices with olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet. Bake in oven until golden brown on both sides, turning once, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove.
Mix ricotta, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper in a bowl until fluffy. Stir in ramps, mint and lemon zest. Spread ricotta on baguette slices.
Top crostini with a large pinch of pea shoots. Drizzle a little olive oil over crostini, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice. Sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt and black pepper.

Spring Pasta: Orecchiette with Spring Peas, Pancetta and Pea Shoots

Orecchiette with Spring Peas, Pancetta and Pea Shoots

I couldn’t resist the peas. This bowl of pasta is the essence of early spring, a season which brings a conflicting message of cold rain with gentle sunshine. Crispy pancetta swathed in cream and cheese provides winter warmth, while sweet peas and delicate pea tendrils add earthy fragility, an early hint from a garden awakening from its winter slumber. No worries if you can’t get your hands on pea tendrils, which are the wispy shoots of the snow pea plant. This dish is equally delicious simply with pancetta and peas. And for that matter, if you can’t get your hands on fresh peas, then frozen are just fine, too.

Orecchiette with Spring Peas, Pancetta and Pea Shoots
Serves 4

1 pound orecchiette
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, finely diced
2 cups fresh peas (or defrosted frozen peas)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups pea shoots, loosely packed
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add orecchiette and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta. Sauté until colored and lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet. Add fresh peas (if using), garlic and red chili flakes. Sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Return pancetta to the pan. Add cream, stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer until cream is slightly reduced and thickened, and peas are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. (If using defrosted frozen peas, add to the cream after it is reduced and thickened and simmer until peas are heated through). Remove from heat and add the orecchiette to the skillet.  Stir to combine. Add the pea shoots, half of the cheese and mint and stir again. Serve immediately with additional cheese for garnish.

Crostini with Ramps and Pea Shoots

Ramp Crostini

This simple recipe highlights the fresh flavors and ingredients of spring. Chopped ramps add crunch, bite and attitude to fluffy ricotta which is smeared over crostini and topped with a jumble of sweet pea shoots.  Little else is needed except a pinch of fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon to keep things real and make these crostini sing.

Crostini with Ramps and Shoots

Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are a member of the onion family and resemble a scallion. Their long, broad green leaves and burgundy tinged bulb are edible. Green Garlic also resembles a scallion and is garlic in its early growth stages. Green garlic may be substituted for the ramps.

Makes 8

8 – 1/2″ thick baguette slices
extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped ramps or green garlic, bulbs and stems only
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
generous handful pea shoots
1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly brush bagette slices with olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet. Bake in oven until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Remove.
Mix ricotta, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper in a bowl until fluffy. Stir in ramps and mint. Spread ricotta on baguette slices.
Top crostini with a few pea shoots. Drizzle a little olive oil over crostini, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice. Sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt and black pepper.