FARM TO… Well this weekend it was FORAGE TO TABLE – how fun!

Yes, thats it. Organic is perfect, locally grown even better, Vermonters take it one step further foraging for….RAMPS – yes, in the Spring it’s whats for dinner!

When you are here in retreat this June , July, August or September we will be eating as farm to table, Organic and as locally grown as possible with the help of our local farm Sweet Georgia P’s. This weekend however we went out off the farm and into nature – foraged for our dinner looking for a sweet little plant, part of the onion family, that made our LIVE PAD THAI that much sweeter! imgres-2

What are ramps you ask? A good way to define ramps might be to describe the negative space, i.e. what ramps aren’t. Ramps are not leeks, nor are they scallions, nor are they exactly shallots. Ramps (which are sometimes called wild leeks or spring onions, adding to the confusion) look like scallions, but they’re smaller and slightly more delicate, and have one or two flat, broad leaves. They taste stronger than a leek, which generally has a mild onion flavor, and are more pungently garlicky than a scallion and YES you can find them right in your back yard.. if you live in VERMONT that is 😉  Why do WE and chefs in the city freak out about ramps? For those in the city, I would have to guess that it is because ramp season is short, and quantities are limited – they are a very exotic and fun thing to place on a menu. For us it is fun, a delicacy, grown wild in the woods they are typically foraged, like truffles, giving them an air of adventure a hidden, very tasty treasure. They’re also one of the first vegetables to emerge from the defrosting soil after a long Vermont winter; waiting for the first ramps of the season has the anticipatory excitement of waiting for Punxsutawney phil to look for his shadow – turn a corner and there they are, wash them up and YUM! We used our ramps this weekend to whip up a favorite here – you’re going to LOVE IT! LIVE PAD THAI (with Ramps!) & ALMOND THAI CHILI SAUCE 

Equipment Needed: food processor or heavy duty blender, veggie peeler, mandolin or vegetable spiralizer.

IMG_4318ALMOND THAI CHILI SAUCE

  • 1/2 C Raw almond butter
  • 1/2 C Fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 C EVOO
  • 1/4 C Filtered Water – or more depending on desired consistency
  • 4 Cloves garlic minced
  • 7 Soaked dates
  • 2 T    Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 C Chopped cilantro
  • 1.5 tsp Gluten free Nama Shoyu
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper or rooster sauce to taste ( optional)
  1. De-pit dates & soak in water ( just enough to cover as to soften)
  2. In a high speed blender or food processor add: lime juice, olive oil, water, ginger juice, garlic, maple syrup, shoyu & blend/emuslify.
  3. Add soaked dates and puree
  4. Add almond butter slowly using soak water from the dates to keep the mixture moving.
  5. Add spice, salt and pepper to taste, more garlic/ginger/sweetness based on your palate; stir in cilantro. **Thin for salad dressings, dress wild rice and kale, thicken for veggie dip or veggie pad Thai – its amazing on nearly everything!

 

VEGGIE PAD THAI Serves 6 (but don’t worry… if you are two or four of you you will want seconds!)

  • 2C Julienne Zucchinii noodles
  • 2 Bags Kelp noodles, rinsed and cut into fourths Click here for the best resource!
  • 1C julienned carrot
  • 1Bunch Ramps ( or green onions) julienned into thin strips
  • 1C Julienned red bell pepper
  • 1C finely shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 C basil chiffonade
  • 1/2 C Cilantro
  • 1C Mung bean sprouts
  • 1C Pea shoot sprouts
  • Limes quartered
  • Black and white sesame seeds for garnish
  • Raw almonds crushed/sliced for garnish
  1. To make your pad Thai zucchini noodles you can use a variety of equipment from a vegetable peeler, a cheese grater, a MANDOLIN, or a SPIRALIZER and of course you can exclusively use veggies and omit the Kelp noodles too – it is totally up to you in creating this dish which flavors and textures you like, and sometimes what you have in your fridge! This is a good mix of all of that – and if you have extra don’t worry. Your salad tomorrow will be just as pretty – and tasty with the left overs from this ( if there are any!)
  2. So – make your Almond sauce, prep your veggies, toss and enjoy.
  3. Sprinkle with white a black sesame seeds, crushed almonds  and you are on your way.
  4. To make this dish a touch more hearty consider a sprouted, organic tofu like VERMONT SOY!

Enjoy!