Roasted Ramps & Romanesco

20150707-062726.jpg This time of year the produce is so abundant & varied, it is nice to mix it up and use things that you don’t see all year at the grocer. That is where ramps and Romanesco come in. Both have a fairly short span at the market for availability, so roasting some up to toss with pasta and a bit of Parm for a simple meal was on our list. Ramps, if you are unfamiliar, are a wild onion. They are sometimes referred to as wild leeks. They taste like a mixture of garlic and onion. The Romanesco, is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is chartreuse in color. Which you know I love. You see it listed sometimes as broccoli, other times as cauliflower. Either way, it is just delicious roasted.

You know the drill. Heat oven to the sweet spot of 400 degrees. Break up florets from the Romanesco, scattering onto a baking sheet. Then cut up the ramps. I just used the middle of the stalk for this, not using the bulb. We like them larger in size to roast, but then cut them into smaller pieces before we toss with the pasta and cheese. They are powerful little bites. Add the ramps to the baking sheet. Douse all with a healthy amount of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. With your hands or a big spoon, mix all around so everything is thoroughly coated. Don’t be stingy with the olive oil as it plays a part in the overall flavor when mixed with the pasta. Put the now beyond glorious pan into the oven and let roast away for 10 minutes. Shake the pan to move things around. Another 10 minutes and check if starting to brown and caramelize. If not, shake and move around again and check after another 10 minutes. So much depends on the size of things. When done, mix this goodness with your favorite pasta you cooked while all this was roasting away. Dust with Parmesan. Mix. Dust again. Done. Beyond simple. So good.

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