May 21, 2007

Scrambled Eggs with Ramps and Guanciale

guanciale and ramps

Before this spring, I had never even heard of ramps, and then suddenly they were everywhere. “The ramps are here!” food bloggers announced, and I didn’t even know I ought to have been anxiously awaiting their arrival through most of the winter months. Furthermore, I had never heard of guanciale before last week, and it was only because I stumbled into one of those luscious food shops that makes you want to scoot right into the kitchen that I came, er, face to face with the stuff.

Guanciale is an unsmoked Italian bacon made from pork cheek. It is traditionally used in Italian dishes such as carbonara, but because it can be hard to obtain (due to all sorts of pesky governmental rules about meat products from the head of an animal), pancetta is often used as a stand-in. Raw guanciale has an earthy, mushroomy scent. Ramps, or wild leeks as they are sometimes called, are early spring onions, and their stinky bark is worse than their bite. They resemble scallions but with a more bulbous white end, and both their white and green parts are edible.

The charming and knowledgeable purveyors of said food shop stood behind a counter that held guanciale within and ramps on top. It was serendipity! I was quickly convinced I needed both, and together: the mild, slightly oniony ramps and the hot, salty morsels of cooked guanciale.

For a first date, I’d say it went quite well and made a really decadent breakfast served with steaming cups of coffee and toasted country bread.

guanciale and ramps

Scrambled Eggs with Ramps and Guanciale
Serves 2

4 eggs, beaten
1 bunch ramps
2 slices guanciale, diced

In a hot skillet, cook the diced guanciale until the fat is rendered and you are left with little salty morsels of goodness. Remove to paper towels. Drain the fat from the skillet and wipe with paper towels. Place skillet over medium-low heat and add the sliced ramps. Saute until wilted. Add eggs and cooked guanciale and scramble the way you do.

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  • Miss Fae: I have been trying to come up with an excuse to buy some ramps. They’re so stunning lying there, all individual leaf and white bulb! I’ll have to try it with eggs.
    8 years ago

  • Steamy Kitchen: I have never had ramps before in my life. :-( I think I need to go find some!
    8 years ago

  • Gail: Goodness, you’re eating well!

    Thank you for the education…I had heard of neither ramps or guanciale. You think they are findable in Albany???

    Regards – Gail
    8 years ago

  • Anonymous: Do ramps resemble the wild onions we weed from the flower beds?
    8 years ago

  • Sarah: Miss Fae and Steamy Kitchen, Ramps are at the tail end of their season, so if you’re going to take the plunge, do so today!

    Gail, If you act fast, I bet you could find ramps at a farmer’s market in Albany. As for the guanciale, I bet an old-school Italian butcher might have it, or a fancy food shop.

    Anon, Ramps do resemble wild onions, although the ones I have seen are quite a bit larger. They certainly smell the same!
    8 years ago

  • Bethany: Sarah, your charming descriptions and links have made guanciale almost appealing to me, a vegetarian. Fabulous site and I hope to see new postings frequently.
    8 years ago

  • Sarah: Bethany, I’m glad to know you didn’t retreat in disgust! :)
    8 years ago

  • Jacob V.: Just wondering how many ramps in a bunch of ramps? Is it 2 or 200?4 years ago

  • Jacob, The bunches of ramps that I’ve seen are about the same size–or a little smaller–than a supermarket bunch of scallions. Hope that helps.4 years ago

  • Ramps | Simply Recipes: […] Scrambled Eggs with Ramps and Guanciale from Pink of Perfection […]2 years ago

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