This dish is about ramps. Ramps grow wild in higher elevations in the North American Appalachian mountains. If you are unfamiliar with them, it is somewhat hard to describe them. They are sometimes referred to as wild leeks. But that does not do them justice. There is a strong garlic taste too. While difficult to describe, the taste is nothing short of amazing. There is just one issue. That is, “How can I keep the taste from overwhelming my dish?”
Notes on techniques
Cooking ramps with fish en papillote is the answer. In this recipe, the en papillote technique with the Halibut steams the ramps and permeates the favor throughout the dish. Simple, breathtaking, and bold. Including a green (spinach, kale, chard, snow peas, etc.) to the dish makes the whole meal preparation simple.
This wild product’s popularity is putting pressure on availability. If harvesting yourself or if from a provider, take time to learn about the techniques of sustainable harvesting.
Ramps can be difficult to find and are available for only a short period. Good substitutions are leeks, green onions an shaved garlic. If the leek greens are tough, they should be steamed first.
If you are unfamiliar with the techniques of en Papillote or need a refresher please refer to this side post. But have no fear, instructions and some photos will assist in the recipe.
- 6-8 oz Halibut filet, approximately 1" thick
- 6-8 ramps, well cleaned with greens attached (see note 1)
- 2 tbsp crème fraiche
- olive oil
- 1 small bunch snow peas or spinach, (see note 2)
- white wine
- Preheat the oven to 500°F.
- Cut two large pieces of parchment paper (approximately 14-16" long), fold to prepare papillotes.
- Cut the halibut into servings and salt. Set aside.
- Place an iron skillet or similar saute pan in the oven to get hot. Drizzle some olive oil on the pan, arrange ramps on the pan in a single layer, and roast for 3 minutes. Carefully watch the time here, too long and the ramps get tough.
- Arrange the papillotes by placing 3 or 4 ramps on the bottom, layer the halibut, spoon the crème fraiche on top then add your snow peas or spinach. Make sure your vegetables are right on top of the halibut to ensure steaming. Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of white wine on top. Salt and pepper vegetables.
- Fold over the top of the papillotes.
- Seal by folding and creasing the edges. Fold and crease multiple times to make sure they stay sealed.
- Roast the oven 8 to 10 minutes, depending on fish thickness. The papillotes should puff up as the fish and vegetables steam.
- Remove from oven, place packets directly on plates. Cut open with scissors leaving the contents to be eaten out of the packet. Serve with crusty bread to get the delicious ramp infused sauce.
Note 1: If ramps are unavailable use slices of green onions or onions and garlic slices.
Note 2: Most any vegetable will do, if steaming is an appropriate cooking method. The suggested snow peas gives a sweet accent to the ramps.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1131Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 468mgSodium: 688mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 173g