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
- 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!