Meatless Monday: Wild Ramp Pizza

And like that, they’re gone.

The snow melts and fields throughout the Eastern third of the country push forth ramps, these beautiful cousins of the onion that are edible from bulb to leaf. They grow, become plentiful and, poof, that’s it.

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By my terrible back-envelope match, we’re reach the end of ramp season here in early May. Ramps are at their most plentiful during April and begin to trail off as May goes on. For about 20 minutes, the Wegmans in Dewitt had them for $14.99 per pound, which is not nearly as bad as it sounds considering the weight of a ramp. The $4 bunches that I picked up at the farmer’s market were about 4-5 oz. each, which is perfect for this pizza recipe.

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When it comes to pizza, The Wife turns up her nose at onions but the inherent onion flavor from the ramp permeated through the entire pizza and with the consistency of a leafy green like spinach.

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WHAT WORKED: It’s worth mentioning here that I do not make my own pizza dough for a couple of reasons. First, The Kid’s Celiac disease. I am not crazy about coating the kitchen in flour and potentially sickening my child so I can make my own dough, not when I can spend $2 on a perfectly good fresh dough from DiLauro’s or Casa Del Pane, which is reason two. I don’t live in West Virginia or Nebraska. The Italian bakeries in Syracuse are plentiful and they do a better job making dough than I could. I’m willing to pay for that. Third, I’m lazy. Let’s be honest.

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WHAT DIDN’T: I cornmeal on the pan to keep the dough from sticking and I got a heavy hand on this one. It was more like a ramp pizza with cornmeal.

EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy to medium.

BEST FOR: It’s pizza, so breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a 2 a.m. snack.

SERVE WITH: A little extra sauce on the side.

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Wild Ramp Pizza
  • 1 12 to 16 oz. pizza dough
  • flour
  • cornmeal
  • 4 to 5 oz. bunch of ramps, cleaned thoroughly and hairy ends trimmed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced plum tomatoes
  • 1 garlic cloved, minced
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. dry mozzarella, sliced into thin pieces (preferable) or shredded
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Preheat your oven to its hottest possible setting. Mine goes to 550 degrees, but most will hit 500.

On a floured work surface, stretch your dough into an oblong or rectangular shape. Spread the dough out without overworking and tearing it. Spread a little cornmeal on your baking sheet then transfer the dough over.

Trim the leaves from your ramps and separate from the stems. Chop the purple stems and bulbs finely, then coarsely chop the leaves. Keep both divided.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems to the pan and cook until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Toss the leaves in the pan and cook until wilted, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Season with kosher salt. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In the meantime, add a pinch of red pepper flakes and a heaping tablespoon of romano cheese to the tomatoes. Mix together, then spread on the pizza dough. Follow the tomato with a layer of mozzarella cheese, then scatter the ramps on top. Sprinkle romano cheese over the top.

Bake at least 10 minutes, then check the bottom of the dough. Cook until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Inspired by [Smitten Kitchen|http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/04/ramp-pizza/}

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