Like so many other people, I love farmers’ markets. Given that we live in a rural area, it’s ironic that we have to drive about 45 minutes to get to one for most of the year. Because of that, we only go about once a month until May when the one near us opens. Even still, it’s pretty small and doesn’t have a huge selection. Whichever market we go to, I’d have to say that foraged foods are probably my favorite finds there. Fiddleheads and ramps are two of my favorites. This is a recipe I came up with to use up some fiddleheads and ramps I got at the University District Farmers’ Market in Seattle a few weeks ago.
Bruschetta with Fiddleheads, Ramps, and Bacon
8 ounces bacon, diced
4 slices rustic bread, about 1/2″ thick
1 medium handful ramps
3 cups fiddleheads
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
To prep the fiddleheads, trim the ends and rinse off the chaff. There shouldn’t be more than an inch or two of straight stem on the. For the ramps, peel off the dry skin from the bulbs. Trim off the roots and wash well under running water. Cut off the green leaves, remove the vein, and set the remaining leaf halves aside. Thinly slice the remaining white / red parts of the ramps into rounds.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it reaches your desired done-ness. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard the rendered fat, leaving a couple tablespoons in the skillet. Place the slices of bread in the skillet until they begin to toast and turn golden in the fat, then place on serving dish(es) toasted side up.
Sauté the ramps in the remaining bacon fat (add olive oil if necessary) and a pinch of salt until they soften, about 2 minutes. Add the fiddleheads and cook until heated through, but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Add oil if needed while cooking them to keep them from browning. Place the ramp leaves and bacon in the skillet with the fiddleheads and ramps and cook until the ramp leaves wilt, less than a minute.
Remove from the heat, add the butter allowing it to melt and season to taste. Place on top of the slices of toasted bread and serve.