Before asparagus, before rhubarb, and before morel mushrooms there are wild leeks. If asparagus is the King of Spring then the ramp (aka wild leek) is the Prince. A prince more like Harry then William with a wild streak that just loves to bare it all in the naturalness of its surroundings. Strong and stately, with leaves that stand above the forest floor, the ramp is the first vegetation available for harvest after the winter thaw.
The ramp, formally known as Allium tricoccum is also known by many other names including: wild leek, forest leek, spring onion, or wild garlic. As you can guess, ramps look and taste like garlic and onion. A much sought-after occurrence in the food-lover world, the hike alone to find these spring temptations is worth adorning rubber boots and an orange safety vest. I forgot my small spade on my first day foraging but on the second day I was ready for digging. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful spring morning.
On Friday I shared a recipe on how to prepare and bake a simple no-knead bread. Since I have made the bread many times before, I decided to try another variation and that was to use the dough as the base for a pan pizza.
With a completely unplanned but fortunate bit of timing, the batch of preserved lemons I prepared in early February was due for a quality check and it was also the warmest day of the year (so far). The result: A fantastic, barbecued pan pizza with a moist & chewy thick crust (and crispy toasted bottom) topped with turkey, mushroom, bacon, basil, and preserved lemon.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.