Ramp, Mushroom + Homemade Ricotta Tartine

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Ramps are here!

It's that time of the year when everyone is posting as soon as they discover they've arrived at the market, and what they plan to do with them this time around. They're a light at the end of the neverending tunnel of winter we've all walked through for too long. If ramps are here, that means Spring is here.

Then there's this homemade ricotta. With our schedules generally quite busy during the week, we make nearly all of our posts happen on the weekends. Spending all day Sunday cooking has become the norm, and I love it that way. Sometimes we plan it all out days ahead of time, and more often than not things just come together as we go along. We weren't sure if we'd find ramps, but Robert was set on making some homemade ricotta, inspired by the latest Bon Appetit, and just like it says, it's a surprisingly simple weekend project. 

We had our fair share of tartines in Paris. In fact the first meal we ate when we got to Pigalle was vegetarian tartines, and red wine of course. Ignoring our grogginess from the flight, we stumbled into a cafe around the corner from our apartment and for whatever reason decided that was what we both craved. It is a very rare occurrence when we order the same thing, and now that i'm thinking of it, I think that was the first time that's ever happened. Crunchy sourdough toast, topped with eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini, they were so incredibly simple, and so delicious.

There's a lot of flavor happening on these little toasts. They all managed to hold their own, and while I was tempted to plow through in just a couple of bites, it really was worth savouring. Ramps won't be around for too long much longer, go forage your markets and find them before they've disappeared until next season.  

*other recipes suggestions
Steak Salad with Grilled Ramps + Tomato Vinaigrette
Breakfast Polenta with Wild Ramps + Mushrooms

Ramp, Mushroom + Homemade Ricotta Tartines
serves 2

1 large bunch ramps, cleaned (about 15 ramps)
1 small bunch oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/3 cup homemade ricotta cheese (see recipe)
1 tbs butter, divided
2 slices thick country bread
salt and pepper

Using a chefs knife, breakdown ramps, separating bulb and stems from leaves. Coarsely chop leaves and dice stems and bulb. Heat two sauté pans over medium heat, melting 1/2 tbs butter in each. Add mushrooms to one pan, and ramp bulbs and stems to the other. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook mushrooms until browned, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Cook ramps until bulbs and stems become translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Then add ramp greens, stir to combine and cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

On a grill pan over medium heat, grill bread until crispy. To assemble, divide ricotta between two toasts and top with mushrooms and ramps.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese 
recipe from Bon Appetit

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil and remove from heat. Add lemon juice, and stir gently until mixture starts to curdle. Let stand 5 minutes, and prepare a sieve lined with two pieces of cheesecloth. Place the sieve overtop a medium bowl, and pour mixture in. Chill at least 1 hour.