Make this Spring a Sustainable one with the Co-op
By: Rukiya Jamison
As people look for more ways to decrease waste and avoid the risks associated with plastics, the co-op has chosen to add new sustainable and reusable products in store, like bamboo toothbrushes and reusable straws. One of my favorites is the tiffin lunch boxes. These cool storage solutions have two stacking levels that hold 4-5 cups each. It's perfect for holding big leafy green salads or multiple meals for long days away from home. These solutions have been around in places like Japan and India for a long time, and are a welcome addition to the co-op.
Now that it's spring I am excited to start filling my tiffin with plenty of seasonal goodies, like peas and, one of my favorites, ramps! Ramps are one of the first vegetables to show up for spring. Here in the Northeast many are foraged from wild wooded areas around the region. Ramps are a wild garlic sprout, with a fiery taste that's garlicky with mild onion undertones.
My first experience with this vegetable was at ABC Kitchen where it's used for a toast preparation: the bulbs are pickled, the green leafy stalk is gently sweated and mixed with butter in a Vitamix, and finally it gets slathered on toasted sourdough bread. It's topped with slices of pickled bulb, and goat cheese. I thought that I'd gone to heaven when I first tasted this.
So now that I've piqued your tastebuds, get excited: these are all ingredients you can easily purchase at the co-op. Plus it fits perfectly in a tiffin to bring for weekly lunches. Interested in seeing how the recipe is made? Take a look at this video with former ABC Kitchens' Chef Dan walking you through the steps.
With the rise of Instagram and social media, ramps have become increasingly popular. The challenges with this is that novice foragers head out looking for ramps and are unaware about when and how to harvest, which compromises the supply. The co-op's ramps, sourced through Farms2Table.com from Tivioli Mushroom Supply, are foraged by professionals who use sustainable practices that ensure we will enjoy this wild wonder season after season. Look out for them and add them to your pastas, soups, and sautéed dishes as you would an onion. What works well is separating the bulb from the top, and throwing the green leafy top into your dish toward the end of the cooking process.
Let us know your favorite way to use ramps in the comments below. Happy spring!
Kiya is a professional chef, but when she's not cooking she dances Argentine tango, loves to travel, play Scrabble and grill. She is a member of the Communications Committee and loves interacting with other members of the Bushwick Food Co-op, so leave her a message!