Along the Grapevine

Gravlax and Spring Greens Pasta

8 Comments

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I have been reading a lot of distressing reports lately about the over-harvesting of ramps by irresponsible or maybe just uninformed foragers. Ramps, or wild leeks as they are sometimes called, are one of those plants which have to be treated with great care, and are on the verge of extinction in some areas in the country. Until I found a privately owned area where I could pick a generous amount but which is cared for by responsible owners, I just did without. If you do find ramps to pick, please be sure to gather just a small proportion of what’s growing there. One way to do this is pick just the centre ones from a clump. They tend to spread outwards, so thinning the middle is a safe way not to over-pick. Another method is to pick just a few leaves and leave the little bulb. There is still plenty that can be done with just the greens.

The area I frequent is actually increasing in its ramp production, thanks to careful harvesting and clearing. And now that I have successfully transplanted a small sample into my own flower bed, I hope to have my own to harvest soon.

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The best way to preserve them and extend their use – a little goes a long way – is to ferment them as I describe in this post here. But for a brief period in the spring I can afford the luxury of using a few fresh ones as I did in this pasta dish. If you don’t have ramps, other spring vegetables such as asparagus, scapes, nettles, garlic mustard etc. would also work well.

I made this dish for Fiesta Friday 67 as a follow-up to my spruce tip gravlax last week. This just involved using a good quality pasta mixed with a handful of sauteed wild greens, in this case ramps, and a good amount of fresh basil, plus about five slices of gravlax per person.

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Toss it all in a bowl and add little fresh cheese crumbled on top, and there you have a super simple gourmet meal.

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Happy foraging!

Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

8 thoughts on “Gravlax and Spring Greens Pasta

  1. Thank you for mentioning the ethics of foraging, over-foraging is really common. Great info, I will be sure to pick the greens from the center! =]

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  2. Yes, a great reminder- I had it on my to-do list to go ramp hunting this year, but I believe I have missed my window as temperatures have been in the 80s F the past few days. There’s always next year. I am looking for a safe spruce sample, though!

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  3. Thanks for this post Hilda, I like informative posts about ingredients just as much as recipe posts from you🙂

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  4. very interesting – we have lots of this growing wild here in Switzerland – when I harvest I only ever cut the leaves and leave the root in the ground – we don’t ever use the root in cooking here, just the leaf, which I guess the overforaging is not that much of a problem – and we grow it in our garden too under the trees and in addition in the season the shops stock it too – interesting that there is an over foraging problem where you are

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    • Thanks for the comment. It is interesting for me to know where the things I write exist besides here. I never saw them when I lived in Switzerland – around Geneva, but maybe I just wasn’t expecting them.. I think just eating the green leaves makes a lot of sense, but some people just eat the bulb and throw the rest away. No wonder we have problems

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  5. So interesting, as always, Hilda! Thanks for this post. I think I am going to try to learn about foraging in my area!😀

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  6. Thanx for this post… awesome….

    Liked by 1 person

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