My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Friday, May 7, 2010

Caramelized Ramp Polenta with White Sauce

While I was out of town, the Twin Cities experienced a bit of warm up. Knowing that some of the spring goodies like ramps, fiddleheads, and morels only had a small window of availability, I jumped into action and started contacting the co-ops. Again, Mississippi Market came to my rescue and I picked up a few bunches of ramps. While I made my new favorite ramp recipe, I also wanted to try something a bit more challenging.

I’ve been cooking my way through Lauren Ulm’s Vegan Yum Yum: Decadent (But Doable) Animal-Free Recipes for Entertaining and Everyday cookbook and really wanted to make the Caramelized Leek and Spaghetti Squash Polenta with White Sauce. I figured I could easily sub in ramps for the leeks. Now, I’ve never been afraid of a complicated recipe. In fact, I shy away from simple recipes in an attempt to spend more time in the kitchen. However, this one was a bit too long.

There were many steps like roasting the squash:

And chopping and sautéing the ramps:

Then the spaghetti squash and ramps get combined with cornmeal and vegetable broth to make a polenta mixture. Of course the mixture has to cool in the fridge – I got impatient and stuck it in the freezer while I whisked together the white sauce. After the polenta cooled, it got broiled.

The whole process took over a couple hours, which I felt was a little long. Luckily it was quite tasty, especially with the use of ramps instead of leeks.  I doubt I'll make it again as written, but I'm intrigued enough to play around with the recipe a bit.  In the meantime, I’ll stick with Lauren’s other wonderful recipes because they rock!

Anyone else ever bit off more than they could chew? (Yeah, yeah, pardon the pun.) I’d love to hear your stories!

This is a contribution to Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays.


  1. Welcome back! Just in time for the cool down... can't wait to hear more about your new gig.

  2. Yeah . . . I've run out of room on the stovetop once or twice. I think the worst part of those cooking explosions isn't the actual cooking, but the CLEAN UP from all of those damn steps!

    Alas. :) Welcome home, btw!

    Hey, I'm thinking about going to see Zoe Francois at Mississippi Market a week from Monday . . . want to meet me there?

  3. Yum!!! Everything's better with ramps!

  4. A couple of times. We have a cookbook called Last Dinner on the Titanic that has this amazing beef medallion recipe with a morel port sauce. Seriously, it chews up four burners and needs about 10 arms for all the sauteing and stirring and reducing that all has to be done at the same time. I also have a pesto/puttanesca lasagne recipe, I think it's an Emeril Lagasse recipe, that's delicious, but by the time you roast the vegetables, make the pesto, and make the sauce, you've killed a lot of time before even starting to assemble the lasagne. But they're both darn tasty.


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