’Tis the season to be jolly! For what herb is in season right now? Ramps! (All of the exclamation marks!)
Give me an R! (“Rrrr!”)
Give me an A! (“Aaaa!”)
Give me an M! (“Uh…”)
Give me an P! (“You seriously gonna do this whole thing?”)
Okay, okay, not going that far. But I am just so excited! This is one of my favorite things in the entire world and they’re only in season for like a month and a half. Ugh! I could swear! So at the moment I am eating ramps for breakfast, brunch, elevenses, lunch, tea, supper and dinner. You don’t like ramps? Too bad, because they’ll be in your scones, and your oatmeal, and your goulash, and smoothie, and ice cream! Oh boy, ramp ice cream… Should I do it? Could it work?!
I don’t know how it works outside of Denmark but here ramsons get on the shelves start-april and then people (read: me) go crazy and elbow each other for what seems like a blink of an eye to get to the precious nectar that is garlic leaves, and then they’re gone. It’s kinda like with lumpfish caviar. You only just get the idea to make ice cream out of it (please don’t) and then it’s gone before you even get to the store.
Don’t even get me started on strawberries!
So, to get something done about my mountains of ramps – you may call me a hoarder – I decided to sprinkle them on top of my favorite pizza: potato pizza. I usually make it very plane with potatoes, garlic oil, salt and onion seeds, but I decided to this time swap the garlic with ramps. And if you’ve said A you must say B. So I kept on building. Scallions, sweet potatoes, portobello mushrooms, gouda, parmesan – now we’re talking! And it tastes like heaven! It gives you that intense garlic flavor but without the bad breath. Double win!
I also made the dough myself – because duh (because dough! ha! no?). I think that store bought pizza dough tastes like yeasted cardboard and my ramps deserves better than that! So dive into the cupboard to get the strong flour, roll up your sleeves and get kneading. It will take you no more than 20 minutes, not counting the resting time. No excuses, it’s seriously too easy. And if you have a stand mixer you don’t even have to get your hands dirty!
I hope that ramps are available where ever you live so you can get to enjoy this pizza, and probably an upcoming pesto, as much as I did. It is delicious and perfect, simple as that.
Pizza with ramps, potatoes and portobello
For the dough (adapted from Jamie Oliver):
500 g strong flour
3,5 dl lukewarm water
1 sachet of dried yeast (mine was 11 g)
1 tsp. salt
0,5 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp. olive oil
For the topping:
1,5 russet potato (the big ones)
1 small sweet potato
2 portobello mushrooms
A big handful of ramp leaves
A good grating of parmesan
A small handful of grated gouda
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar and water. Make sure that the water isn’t too hot, or else it will kill the yeast. You can test it by letting the tap run over your wrist: if you don’t feel the temperature of the water much, then it should be good. Set aside for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.
In a big bowl, mix the flour and salt. Stir in the yeasted water and oil with a fork. When the dough is too tough to stir, transfer it to a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. It should be a bit sticky, but not so much that you can’t handle it. You know that it’s ready when you can press a mark into it and it springs back into shape. Put it back into the big bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Leave it to rest for a good hour. It should double in size. (You could also wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge over night – then it’s ready to go in a jiffy the next day!)
When doubled, transfer it back onto the floured surface and knock the air out of it. Roll it into a pizza with a rolling pin and transfer it onto a baking tray.
Set the oven to 250 degrees celsius.
Peel the potatoes (both white and sweet) and cut them into very thin slices, with either your sharpest knife or a using a mandoline. Cut the mushrooms into halves and slice them into thin slices as well. Same thing goes for the scallions.
Sprinkle the gouda over the pizza – it should feel like it’s way too little. Spread the white potatoes over it. Let them overlap as they will shrink and curl up in the oven. They should cover the entire pizza. On top of the potatoes spread the sweet potatoes.
Fry the mushrooms in a frying pan over high heat until golden. Put in the scallions for the last 20-30 seconds of the frying. Disperse the mix over the potato layer. Sprinkle the veggies with a gentle pinch of salt and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
Turn the oven down to 200 degrees. Put in the pizza and bake for 15-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
While the pizza is baking, roughly chop the ramps. When the pizza comes out of the oven, immediately grate a good amount of parmesan on top of it. Drizzle the ramps on top of the pizza and give it a little extra salt (trust me). An extra pinch of olive oil will definitely not hurt the final product.
And there you have it! Fresh and filling. Enjoy!