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Ramps on the Outpost™ Grill

By Chef Nate Flaim

A Word on the Outpost Grill

The most convenient grill. Being able to set up the Outpost™ grill wherever I want and cook outside is the most freeing feeling. I have used it in the middle of a snow storm, in friends' backyards, in the heart of the woods, and I can’t wait for the next reason to bring it out - not that I need much of one.

Foraging for Ramps

Ramps are a cook's treasure. They are a beacon of the bounty that is to come in spring, a reminder of the winter's end and the new growth that is happening in the rich soils.

 

 

In the beginning weeks of April, ramps start to show their way above ground. Sprouting up rapidly, it is important to harvest within a couple weeks before they go to seed and disappear until next season. With that, they are also a wild vegetable and hard to cultivate purposefully. They thrive in rich soils, typically near streams and small bodies of water. However, it is extremely important to not harvest everything in sight. In order to have the bounty for next season, and to preserve the patch, there must be some left over to go to seed and propagate.

Respecting the bounty and being mindful of the surrounding area is paramount. Enjoy them while they are here, and look forward to the next season, knowing they will be just as delicious as you remember them.

Charred Radicchio and Ramp Salsa Verde

 

 

You Will Need

Ramps
Radicchio
Red Wine Vinegar
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
Honey

Preparation

To start, cut the radicchio in half and remove the root end.

Then separate the leaves and place in a bowl. Toss the radicchio with red wine vinegar, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and olive oil.

Next, clean the ramps by removing the base of the bulb, where the roots start. Give them a wash in clean water, and let them drain slightly.

Place them in a bowl with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.

When the Outpost grill is ready to cook over, place both the radicchio and the ramps over the grill and slightly char. Don’t burn to a crisp, just a little char and smoke will do beautifully.

When the vegetables are soft and have some char to them, place onto a cutting board and cut into small pieces.

After they are cut, place in a clean bowl, season with sea salt, a dash of red wine vinegar, minced garlic, a whisper of honey, and olive oil.

It should be bright, savory, slightly acidic. I love using this condiment to pair with beef. The brightness flows beautifully with rich cut steak.

Butter Braised Ramps and Mussels

One of my favorite smells are ramps slowly cooking in butter. The garlic and allium aroma of the ramps mixed with slowly melting butter is out of this world. When paired with the oceanic mussels and a little lemon, it's glorious.

 

 

You Will Need

Ramps
Mussels
Olive Oil
Garlic, sliced
Fresh Thyme
Butter
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Lemon

Preparation

Start a cast iron skillet over the Outpost grill. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom, a couple slices of garlic, and toast the garlic to a slight brown color.

Next add a small handful of fresh thyme and butter.

As the butter melts, it will carry the flavor of the garlic and the thyme. It should also cover the base of the pan significantly, almost an inch deep.

When the butter is all melted, add the clean ramps and slowly cook just until the root end is tender.

When tender, remove the ramps from the pan, and make sure you save the butter.  

Season the ramps with sea salt and black pepper.

Next, for starting the mussels, make sure they are as clean as possible, the beards are removed, and none of them are open.

When the grill is ready, place them right over the grill in one flat even layer. Be ready; they will sporadically open up, which tells you they are done cooking and must be removed from the heat.

Have a pair of tongs handy and a clean bowl for collecting the done ones.

When they are all open, toss them with the butter braised ramps, a dash of the butter the ramps were cooking in, and a squeeze of lemon.  

Enjoy them around the fire with friends and loved ones.