Morels, ramps, asparagus, rhubarb – a spring feast

morels

Spring and summer seasonal foods make for the simplest cooking around. One stop at the farmers’ market and my bag is brimming with asparagus, rhubarb, ramps, morels, and chicken. I love this kind of cooking and eating.

I started by cooking up some diced bacon in a skillet. When it was brown and crispy I removed the bacon and added the morels. The sorrel from last week was the next to go in. I didn’t have much of it so I ripped the leaves up a bit before I tossed it in. The ramps were added last and I cut the bulbs on the vertical and gave the greens a quick chop before I added them. I tossed that about over a medium flame for a few minutes before I added the bacon back in, then I removed it from the heat and covered it while I tended the grill. This was a superbly flavored ragout…the essence of spring with its earthy and green flavors. The sorrel turned a really ugly olive green almost as soon as it hit the heat, but its lemony flavor was an elegant counterpoint to the mushrooms and ramps. I loved it.

garlic balsamic chicken

I soaked the chicken thighs in a balsamic, olive oil, garlic, and ginger marinade for an an hour or two before grilling them. The chicken, with its caramelly edges and and tender, juicy insides was the perfect compliment to the rest of the meal. I tossed the asparagus with olive oil and sea salt and threw it on the grill too. Asparagus like this is so sweet and smokey, yet still slightly crisp. I’ll eat it like this all spring until it disappears.

asparagus

Dessert was a rhubarb/strawberry pie done in “my typical galette style. I added just a touch (1/4 tsp) of cardamom to the fruit and it added an extraordinary flavor component that bound the flavor of the strawberries and rhubarb together in wedded bliss…really, you should try it.

rhubarb pie