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Ramp Week: Ramp and Chorizo Quesadillas

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

The trick to making something great with ramps is finding ramps in the first place. If you happen to live in the Northeastern United States, that's pretty darn easy this time of year. Hit your local farmers' market or even your local Whole Foods and you're bound to run into them—for a price, that is.

If you happen to live out in the country, you may even be lucky enough to have some growing right in your own back yard. If you do, just make sure that you only harvest them lightly—if you clean out a patch, they won't be coming back next year.

Ramps do best when treated simply. Sautéed in butter with some runny eggs, grilled over live coals, or baked into a puffy frittata. Here's another one to add to that category: ramp quesadillas.

The idea is as simple as the execution: crisp up some chorizo in a pan to render out the fat, then cook some ramps in that rendered fat. Combine the ramps, the chorizo, and some grated cheese.

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Spread that mixture out on top of half a flour tortilla and fold it up to sandwich it (this method works a lot better than the sandwiched-between-two-tortillas method which inevitably leads to messy flipping).

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Fry the sucker in plenty of hot oil (so that it browns and puffs as it cooks. You could, if you want, also grill it).

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Pull him out and let him rest. And notice that crisp crust of fried cheese around the edge while you're at it. This is a feature, not a bug.

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Once slightly cooled, cut 'em into triangles and serve.

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It takes only a few minutes start to finish, it's cheesy, crispy, gooey, and packed with fresh ramp flavor. What more could you want out of a spring snack, huh?

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Ramp and Chorizo Quesadillas »

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