Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A very fragrant bloom

The air is rife with scent of spring’s rebounding life. Hidden bulbs have revealed themselves from the heady seduction of hyacinth to the aggressive assault of alliums; wild onions populate the fields all around me. Then there is the spotting of the cultish ramp.  This wild onion has achieved very little commercial production but demands the attention of all who have eaten them. Grilled, sauté and pickled are part of my personal applications for them. I am dreaming of starting a patch by the stream under the protective canopy of the oak trees, and I guess, while I am dreaming the dream, I should put in ostrich ferns and some watercress to flush my woodland tableau. For now, I am free to leave my front door to pull a clump wild onion that has more a chive-like leaf, and small bulbs that thrive in our open fields. It is safe to say, if it smells like garlic or onion then it is probably a wild variety and edible. The farmer’s market the past weekend gave me but a mere handful of ramps; five feet from the house, and I am hauling back a small basket full. So, I am on alert, knowing that the ramp season is ramping up, which means putting up the first pickles of the New Year and anticipating a distinctive oniony moment to the coming weeks meals.

Vegetable Burgers – yeilds 12 patties
2-cups cooked quinoa
8-ounces tempeh - shredded
½-pound carrot – shredded
¾-pound zucchini – shredded
3-celery stalks – shredded

½-cup minced spring onion greens
2-whole black cardamon
1-½ teaspoon whole coriander seed
1-teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1-tablespoon salt
2-egg whites
¾-cup chickpea flour

In a spice grinder place the cardamon, coriander, black peppercorns and process to a fine powder.

In a large bowl combine the ingredients to thoroughly combine.
Form into 10 patties about 3-inches across. Place in the refrigerator, and rest the burgers for at least an hour.

Heat an eight-inch sauté pan over a high heat, and add 2-tablespoons of canola oil. Brown the burgers on both sides. Keep warm in 300-dgree oven. 

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