Mm, ramps. Ramps were what Rapunzel‘s mother was craving from the witch’s garden that started the whole curse/giving away the child problem. They are garlicky and oniony, and mostly only grow in the wild, to be foraged. Fortunately, my new roommate (!) has a source and collected a bunch for us to enjoy.
I also realize that this blog has thus far been bereft of actual fish, which is a real shame, given that it’s based in Maine (I did do a scallop rendition, but they are distinctly not fish). The fish I used here was haddock, which is a fairly generic white fish. I’m admittedly not even sure I would be able to tell the difference between white fishes—I don’t eat a lot of them so maybe that’s why—but still, it seems odd that some are much more expensive. The vagaries of the fishing industry for you. The haddock was from Port Clyde Fresh Catch, where you can place an order for fish caught that week, and get it delivered to your local store (assuming you are on their route). Community Supported Fisheries!
There was a big to-do over global fisheries a little while ago, and the fact that slaves may be catching a lot of our US fish. Surprised? On the other hand, Maine’s aquaculture industry seems to be growing, and we know where that comes from!
I enjoyed it with cornbread, out on the deck (lots of butter, cornmeal from Fiddler’s Green, Misty Brook Farm, and Songbird Farm, and just a touch of flour; I’ll tell you details sometime).
The sauce/dressing is important, don’t skimp. Sauce is really all it takes for a meal to go from ho-hum to amazing—it’s good to have a few standbys (such as yogurt dressing).
Pan-fried haddock with ramps, spinach, and ramp-yogurt sauce Haddock, enough for however many people you are feeding Salt and pepper Olive oil Ramps! a good handful to sauté, and 3 or so for the dressing A big handful of fresh spinach A little white wine, if you have it A spoonful of yogurt, and any extra whey Lemon or lime juice (from 1/4-1/2 lemon) A good dash of turmeric
Rub salt and pepper in the fish and set aside (this all happens very quickly. If you want to use two pans, you could; I just made the ramps and spinach first and kept them warm on the side). Loosely chop the ramps (save a few for the dressing) and add them to a hot pan with a little oil. Sauté briefly, then add spinach (chop spinach a bit if you like). Salt and pepper, just a little. Remove when spinach is barely wilted, and keep warm on the side.
Heat up the pan again with a little oil, and add the fish when quite hot. After a minute or two, flip it over and add a little white wine. Cook just until it starts flaking apart, only another few minutes (overcooked fish is the worst, don’t do it).
While the fish is cooking, mince the remaining ramps. Stir them with yogurt, lemon/lime juice, and turmeric. Taste, adjust, and salt and pepper as necessary.
Place sautéd ramps/spinach on a plate, top with fish, and drizzle/pour the sauce on top. Garnish with a little extra ground pepper, and a few more minced ramps.