Spring Ramp & Nettle Green Tart

So, the veggie box I’ve been waiting for came yesterday: the one with the first ramps (wild leeks) and nettle greens of the season!!!

Now, I’ve never had stinging nettle greens before, but I’ve decided they count as a Superfood for Meghan’s 5 Days Superfoods challenge, because they’re green and leafy and 40% protein.  Plus, they’re delicious.  And also a bit scary to prepare: you can’t touch them before they’re cooked because they’ll actually sting you (with the same compound that’s in fire ants, yipes!) — so you have to work with kitchen gloves or my favourite tool, tongs.  I made sure not to touch the greens as I used the tongs to get them from the bag to the colander for a rinse, then to the pot of boiling water for a quick cook (a few seconds gets rid of the sting, I left them in for about 45 seconds until they turned bright green), then to the cold water to blanch them quickly.  At this point, they were totally safe, phew!

In addition to the seasonal produce, I was also treated to some gorgeous cheese this week, from my friend Louise who brought it back from Quebec for me.  It’s ridiculously delicious.

I wanted to showcase these flavours in something light.  Especially as it was my first time with the nettle greens, I wanted to know what they tasted like before sticking them in a green curry or a soup.  And so, a tart was born!

Spring Ramp & Nettle Green Tart

Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Spinach & Nettle Tart and Alana’s Ricotta Leek Tart with Fresh Weeds

  • 1 Easy Olive Oil Tart Crust (whole wheat!)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 bunch ramps (wild leeks), root ends removed — leaves and bulbs chopped separately
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bag (3 oz.) stinging nettle greens
  • 1/3 of a nutmeg, freshly grated or microplaned
  • 1 Tbsp. of butter
  • 1 pinch seasoned pepper (ground pepper, salt, parsley, garlic, onion)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. milk (I used 1%)
  • 30-50g semi-firm cheese, sliced

Preheat oven to 400F.

Follow Clotilde‘s amazing instructions for her Olive Oil Whole Wheat Tart Crust.  It’s gorgeous.  After letting the dough rest in the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes, prick all over with a fork (so it doesn’t rise) and blind bake at 400F for 6 minutes.  (Note, please pretend this is in a tart pan — I somehow don’t have one, so improvised with a springform pan).

While all of this dough stuff is happening (resting, baking), take the opportunity to get everything else ready: in a large pan, over low heat, sweat the onions and chopped ramp bulbs in the olive oil until softened.

Using tongs (so you don’t get stung!), wash the nettle greens, pop them in a pot of boiling water for 45 seconds, then move them to a bowl of cold water to blanch them.  Drain, and chop into small pieces.

Add the chopped ramp greens and nettle greens to the onions.  Add the nutmeg, butter, and salt & pepper.  Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

Place the greens & onions mixture in the blind-baked tart shell.  Top with the cheese slices.

Mix together the egg and milk, and pour over top the tart.

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes, remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

A part of Amy’s deliciously inspiring Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Main Course, Vegetarian


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17 Comments on “Spring Ramp & Nettle Green Tart”

  1. April 22, 2010 at 7:13 am #

    Wahoo!! I love your enthusiasm for the ramps. You’re adorable.

    I feel like I contributed to this tart with laughter. Looks delightful!!

  2. April 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Wow, where do you get your box from – it sounds a lot more exciting than ours! Great recipe and as soon as i get hold of some nettles, i’ll give it a go.

  3. April 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    @Ash — food always tastes better with laughter, you definitely contributed on this one!!!

    @The Grubworm — the ramps and nettle greens were add-ons to my box (which had the regular, basic stuff like celeriac and mangos and bananas and fennell… but I get it from the awesome Front Door Organics here in Toronto.
    I bet the tart would be awesome with spinach too, if you can’t get a hold of nettles…

    • April 26, 2010 at 8:53 am #

      Ah yes – Toronto to London might be a wee bit far for a veggie delivery 😉 I’ll have to check our very own version this side of the pond. And if they can’t do it, I’ll either raid the neighbour’s garden., or try it with spinach.

      • April 26, 2010 at 8:59 am #

        This is an absolutely random thought, and I have no idea how it would work, but what about beet greens?

  4. May 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    WOW – this is wonderful. I’ve not as of yet had the testicular fortitude to mess around with stinging nettles…yet i find myself inspired.

    Might need to get a little tipsy one night and go for it…

    Also, that cheese! I have an intense infatuation with cheese that borders on disturbing obsessions…so this definitely caught my eye.

    Glad I found your blog, i’ll definitely be following you!

    • May 4, 2010 at 8:39 am #

      Thanks for the great words! I’m glad to have inspired you… just do it!!!! Wear a pair of kitchen gloves and get ye some tongs… it’s super easy!!!

      And yes, the cheese. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Definitely to die for!

      Thanks for the follow! 🙂


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