April 26, 2013 by caitlinvaclark
Vacation is over and it’s back to the grind. I just cooked my first meal in a week- a simple avocado chicken salad. Okay, clearly it was actually just assembling but I am in the process of getting back in the swing of things in the kitchen! I promise!
Barcelona was incredible. The sun was shining and the sangria was flowing. I’m currently uploading my pictures and planning my favorite tapas to recreate. Next week I will be sure to inundate you with stories and food inspirations but for now I’ll just say that the trip may have culminated with us closing down a local restaurant drinking with the owners until the wee hours.
But I think we ended my best friend, Becca’s, visit with a perfect day back in London. We grabbed coffees to walk around Borough Market, which was quiet on a weekday morning, making it great for talking with the vendors and not having to elbow through crowds for samples. Plus there’s nothing like some duck confit to go with your latte!
Then we took a long walk with Gertie to a late pub lunch at a local watering hole. Have I mentioned that this time the weather stayed amazing for us? We finished the day with Indian food at my favorite spot in London, Tayyabs, famous for their legendary lamb chops but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, and we ordered it all. In fact our waiter actually told us we were ordering too many curries and I had to explain that we were planing on bringing some home to my husband (which we did, I swear!). Are you starting to understand why I’m eating a salad right now?
When writing about Borough Market for The Tortoise Shell, I developed a recipe for grilled presa (a cut of ibérico pork available at the Spanish vendor, Brindisa) with a ramp chimichurri sauce (coming soon). My visit back to Borough this week got me thinking about how incredible these greens are, known also as wild garlic or ramson. Harvested in the wild, ramps are the daffodils of the food world. They sprout out of the ground announcing that spring has sprung. But once they’re here they only stick around for you to enjoy them for about a week before you must say goodbye until next year. So strike while the iron is hot. They are full of mellow garlic flavor with a sweet fragrance and a freshness that can’t be beat.
After the chimichurri turned out amazing, I went a little ramp crazy while I could get my hands on them. Recently I made this fresh and light Ramp Scampi for dinner. Honestly I came up with the dish because I thought the name was hilarious. But it turned out better than any shrimp scampi I’ve made before. It only takes a matter of minutes and has a subtle garlic flavor and a brightness that can’t be beat.
Clean and thinly slice the ramps. That along with slicing a lemon in half and your prep is done. (Disclaimer: I used pre-peeled and deveined shrimp.)
Melt butter and olive oil in a skillet then add the shrimp. Pour in the wine and simmer. If your shrimp are large, wait until you flip the shrimp to add the wine. You just want to be sure to give it a few minutes to reduce but not overcook the shrimp. After the shrimp is half cooked toss in the ramps and continue until the shrimp just turn pink all over.
Finish with a pat of butter and fresh lemon juice.
I served the scampi over rice, which is the only part that really takes much time, but was the perfect base to soak up the lemony fresh sauce.
4 oz. ramps
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter, divided
1 ½ lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup white wine
Juice of half a lemon
Steamed rice, to serve
Thinly slice the ramps and set aside.
Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the shrimp and cook until the first side just turns pink. Flip the shrimp and add the white wine to the pan, followed by the sliced ramps. Continue to cook until the shrimp are done, then turn off the heat and finish with the remaining tablespoon of butter and juice of half a lemon.
Serve over rice.