Sometime back in late June early July garlic scapes and ramps were all over the famers market. I had never cooked with either so of course I picked up bunches of both to experiment. After tasting them I had tried them in several dishes from ramp risotto to home made garlic scape ‘n herb buttermilk dressing. Both were fantastic and I can say now that I am big fan of both. Unfortunately, the season for both are very short and I must wait till next year to enjoy them again. But I can look back and remember them fondly.
One Wednesday night back in July I had bought some gorgeous sea scallops and fresh jumbo shrimp from the fish truck. Now I am the only person in my house that eats either so whenever I make them I have to make a dish that I can throw in chicken or fish for M. This night I looked in my veggie bins for inspiration. It hadn’t gone to the farmers market that morning so I was working with the remnants from the weekend. I had a few garlic scapes, 2 ramps, and a bunch of swiss chard. Also, in the fridge was leftover brown rice from earlier in the week. I quickly figured on a variation of scampi!
Protein of your choice, I used sea scallops, shrimp, and sliced chicken breast, but you really can use anything you like. But if you use white wine like I did you may want to stick with your “white” meats. (Just a side note a great fall and winter variation I use red meat and red wine!)
1 bunch chard or any green you like chopped up into bite size pieces
red chili flakes to taste
2-3 ramps sliced up
1-2 garlic scapes chopped up
1-2 T. butter
1 cup or so white wine, any decent wine works here, I have done this with whatever I was drinking at the time or even vermouth.
First heat a fry pan until it is good and hot, melt 1/2 the butter (if it smokes too much you can add olive oil to bring the smoke point down, or just remove the pan from the heat as you add the butter). Place your scallops (or whatever) in the pan to get a nice sear on the meat. I seared off my scallops first then the shrimp and finally the chicken (each separately so not to over cook the seafood). Remove meat from pan and add more butter along with the ramps, scapes, and chili flakes if using. Saute for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until you just begin to see some color and smell the ramps and scapes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan scraping up all the wonderful bits. Add in the chard and begin to wilt the greens. Then place your meat back into to pan just to warm through, and finish cooking. You can if you like add a little more butter to the sauce at the last minute to give it a silky texture and don’t forget to season with salt and pepper at the end very important! Serve over leftover rice, pasta, cous cous or by it self.
And there you go a very fast, fresh and tasty meal. I make several variations of this all year long. This was a first with the ramps and scapes but I really enjoyed it. The scapes keep a good bit of their texture through the cooking process along with keeping a nice garlic taste. The ramps get nice and sweet and have a taste of well, sweet garlic shallots. I used the greens and the bulb of the ramp which both have their own flavor. Still if you don’t have garlic scapes or ramps sub out garlic and shallots, or onions, green onions or really anything you have on hand. This is not so much a recipe as it is a method, you really can do anything you like! That is what I love about cooking, you get to be so creative while using up what you have leftover!