Scrambled eggs & ramps are a traditional country favorite.
Pick up any cookbook on old-fashioned Appalachian cooking and you’ll find recipes for ramps with eggs, ramps with taters, ramps with bacon… the list goes on and on. While these down home, country-style dishes will never go out of style, you might want to try this recipe which takes ramps and scrambled eggs to a completely different level.
This method of preparing scrambled eggs is often referred to as “French Soft Scrambled Eggs.” I don’t know if the French were really the first to invent the soft scrambled egg (more likely the Italians or Chinese), but who cares: whoever was first was definitely on to something good.
When done correctly in a double boiler, soft scrambled eggs closely resemble a stirred custard. Light and delicate in texture, but full of savory, eggy flavor, soft scrambled eggs are simply delightful.
Their gentle, comforting flavor is the perfect counterpoint to the rich, slightly salty smoked salmon and the wild, herbaceous tang of pungent, garlicky ramps. The first bite is guaranteed to be amazing. So is each bite that follows.
Hint: It’s essential to use a double boiler when preparing this dish. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a medium or large stainless steel mixing bowl set atop a saucepan with an inch or two water in it.
- 4 whole eggs
- 8 – 10 ramps/wild leeks
- 2 oz smoked salmon, diced
- 1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp butter, sliced into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp steelhead or salmon caviar (optional, but highly recommended)
Set up a double boiler, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the top pan.
Clean the ramps by slicing away the tough, woody “button” and the roots. Pull away the soft pulpy outer capsule from the bottom of the ramp and discard. Rinse the ramp well to remove any dirt or debris. Thinly slice the entire ramp, reserving a few of the sliced greens for garnishing. (For more information on ramps, see this earlier post.)
Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a whisk until light and frothy and set aside. Heat the milk or cream in the double boiler until very hot. Slowly whisk the hot milk or cream into the beaten eggs little by little to “temper” them, then reduce the burner to low and return the tempered egg/milk mixture to the top of the double boiler. Make sure the heat is quite low and the water is barely simmering.
Stir, stir, stir the egg mixture with a heat-proof spatula, all around the sides and bottom, making sure that “curds” do not form. Continue stirring all the while as the egg mixture slowly begins to thicken.
Add the sliced ramps to the double boiler and continue stirring. Adding the ramps at this stage will cool the cooking eggs slightly, slowing down the cooking process a little. Continue to cook and stir for another minute or two, then add the diced smoked salmon. Cook and stir a bit longer, but be patient – you’re almost done. When the eggs begin to become thick and custardy in texture, it’s time to turn off the burner; the eggs will continue to cook under their own heat for another minute or two. Gently fold in the butter, bit by bit, until it has been completely incorporated and the scrambled eggs are rich and glossy.
Divide the scrambled eggs into warmed serving dishes. Spoon a tablespoon of steelhead or salmon caviar over each portion, if using. Sprinkle with the reserved sliced ramp greens and serve with hot buttered toast or bagels.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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