Cooking with Mother Goose: A series of occasional posts inspired by children's stories and rhymes.
Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean.
So betwixt them both, you see,
they licked the platter clean.
My eating mood this spring has matched the weather. On any given day, I'm not really sure whether I want to eat something hot or cold, something wintery or something springy. The only thing I am sure of is that I want to take advantage of all the great spring produce that is beginning to pop up.
Last week, I bought some of those harbingers of spring -- ramps -- and some asparagus at the same time. And I got it stuck in my head that I wanted to serve them together. If you haven't tried ramps, they grow wild in these mid-Atlantic states and have a fresh, garlicky flavor. They can go into pesto, an omelette, or sprinkled over a salad.
Thinking about pairing them with eggs brought to mind a spring soup that we made years ago. It was an asparagus straciatella, an Italian soup with egg and parmesan whipped in. For years, it was the only way that Olivia would eat asparagus, but we hadn't made it in a long time. My ramps were a bit banged up, too, so throwing them into a soup seemed like a good solution.
Oscar didn't want to eat the asparagus, but poked around it with his spoon to get to the eggy broth. Chloe didn't like the broth, but picked all of the asparagus out with a fork. Neither of them finished an entire bowl of soup, but between the two of them... Well, you get the idea.
Ramp and Asparagus Straciatella
15 minutes preparation time
20 minutes cooking time
If you can't find ramps, substitute spring onions or garlic scapes for a similar flavor.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds fresh asparagus, cleaned, ends snapped off, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 large bunch ramps, rinsed, ends trimmed, and diced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 large eggs
1 cup shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the asparagus and ramps and cook just until the asparagus begins to soften about 3 minutes. Scrape the vegetables out of the pot onto a plate.
Add 10 cups of water to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any bits of ramps or asparagus that are stuck to the pot. Bring the water to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the parmesan and stir again. When the water has begun to boil, whisk the egg mixture in. Add the asparagus and ramps back to the pot and cook until the egg has cooked and the vegetables have heated through, about 3 minutes.
To serve, ladle into bowls and top with a bit more parmesan.