My love affair with ramps has grown more experimental and luscious this year. I've been doing everything from sauteeing, to creating pesto, braising and juicing. This cracker was inspired by wanting to really get that ramp flavor INTO my food rather than on it. It shows another way to celebrate the wild leek and some of the stunning fresh sheep's milk ricotta cheese we have in New York this Spring. Here's a peek at "Fresh Ricotta, Parmigiano and Ramp Wafers".
This really turned out just beautifully, and accomplished the craving for that unique ramp taste to be really integrated yet subtle, rather than a sauce or simple garnish. These are hearty, and I struggled with the name. They're not super crispy so I hesitate calling them a cracker. They're more like a cookie or a savory biscuit but in the end Mr. Scrumptious and I settled on Wafer. They were absolutely divine as shown composed here with a slather of very fresh sheep's ricotta, paper thin slice of Macoun apple and a leaf of watercress. When served with a soft and effervescent Lambrusco, it turned into a special hors d'oeuvres on a Monday night.
Here's how I made them:
Makes about 26 wafers
1/4 c. fresh ramp leaves, finely sliced into chiffonade
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 c. very fresh sheep's ricotta
1/4 c. grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1. Mix the ramps, thyme, ricotta and parmigiano in a large bowl, folding gently to incorporate ingredients. Add the salt and pepper and mix again.
2. Slowly add the flour and mix together. Bring together with your hands and gently form into a dough. Turn out onto a clean counter or cutting board and form the dough into a long cylinder about 2 inches wide by 18 inches long.
3. Rub the teaspoon of olive oil over all of the dough. Cover the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. (No longer or the dough will be too hard).
4. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove the dough from the freezer and slice into 1/4" slices or wafers and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for 13 minutes until golden brown. Turn over each wafer and bake 13 minutes more until evenly golden. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to completely cool. Serve with a rich, fresh cheese and slice of firm sweet-tart apple and enjoy as snack or hors d'oeuvres.