Saturday, May 1, 2010

Turkey Burgers with Sage, Ramps and Blue Cheese

Glorious spring. I went to the Union Square farmers market yesterday afternoon and the mixed greens and pork butts were practically singing for joy. The weather was gorgeous.

Usually when I go to an outdoor market I swing by all the stands to take a look at what's available and who has the best looking goods before making any purchases, but as soon as I hit the first produce stand I saw a sign for ramps and was handing over my money faster than I could count it. 

I had never seen or eaten ramps before but I knew they were a springtime delicacy and sought by foodies. Ramps, I discovered, look like spring onions and taste somewhere between garlic and an onion. My mother did a lovely illustration above. Thanks mom! The bunch I picked up had nice, firm looking bulbs right above the roots but having sat in the sun all day, the long green leaves were quite wilted and sad. I didn't think much of it and when the merchant smiled, almost apologetically, and slipped me and extra bunch, I hardly even noticed. I had ramps! Two bunches! La la la la.

What a great day.

I walked past a few more stands one with apples and another with beeswax candles and then, right in front of me were the mother of all ramps. They had plump, white bulbs and big, strong, green leaves splayed out on a pristine white table and they were the same price as my wilted ones, now growing more limp by the second in their plastic bag. Next to these glories of mother nature, a hand painted sign read: Ramps, you can eat the leaves too!

Here is a recipe I came up with last night using mostly ingredients from the the farmers market but minus ramp leaves.  Another time.

1 package ground turkey (to make four large burgers)
fresh sage
ramps (or 1/2 yellow onion)
olive oil
blue cheese

Mince about five sage leaves and one bunch of ramps, should make about 1/4 c. Add them to the turkey with lots of freshly ground black pepper and about a teaspoon of salt. Drizzle about a tablespoon and a half of olive oil over everything and mix with your hands. Pat into four burgers. I cooked them on a cuisinart electric skillet at 300 degrees until the centers were no longer pink. To serve, crumble a good amount of blue cheese on top and sandwich between a bun (or we used good crusty bread from the night before).

Make a salad, turn on the Yankees (or whoever your team may be), and get some beer. It's the weekend.


  1. You are one amazing "chef". I like the way you "ramped" up your turkey burgers. I can't even cook as creatively as you and I have a whole freakin' kitchen. Looking forward to more of your awesome recipes. I most wanted to taste the buttery poached egg - it sounded yummy!

  2. What a delightful start to the weekend! I used to have to walk through Union Square everyday to get to the farmer's market there! And I'm so the same...I have to competitive shop all the stands for the freshest before I hand over my dolla dolla bills haha