And asparagus! And ramps! And green garlic! And fava beans! We're pretty stoked to start digging in to Spring vegetables.
Robyn's random doodles of the day were really into peas.
Spaghetti with Seared Ramps and Pecorino at Maialino
At a recent visit to Maialino, I tasted a special pasta dish with pecorino and seared ramps. (The pasta was spaghetti chitarra from Mancini.) So simple, but the textured bite of the pasta, the rich cheese (which became saucelike when mixed with pasta water) and the charred ramp bulbs and super-sweet green ramp leaves were a fantastic combination.—Maggie Hoffman
Gnocchi with Favas and Peas at Battersby
Sauteed Ramps with Fried Duck Egg at The Spotted Pig
If I haven't made it abundantly clear enough by now, I love ramps. I LOVE RAMPS. I can't get enough of the little wild onions during their sadly short season, and while there's no shortage of ways to cook them, the best to my mind is the simplest: sautéed with olive oil or butter and served alongside a nicely fried egg. I love it when the greens are cooked hard enough to crisp up slightly, so that you get a nice balance between crisp greens—almost like fried leeks—and tender, barely-cooked bulbs. I love dragging them through egg yolks and twirling them around my fork like the best pasta carbonara ever. I love scraping up the ramp-flavored remnants from the bottom of the plate with a nice piece of toast. At The Spotted Pig's brunch, they serve sautéed ramps with a fried duck egg (an upgrade over chicken eggs), and toasted bread from Sullivan Street Bakery (an upgrade over pretty much any other bread out there). Nothing says Spring to me more. Did I mention that I love ramps?
—J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Peas and Prosciutto at Otto
The $5 vegetable pots at Otto are consistently lovely. Three of these, a pasta, and some stellar gelato make a killer, distressingly affordable meal for two. Of late I'm in love with the peas and prosciutto, which dresses tender, incredibly fresh peas in a tart, shallot-studded vinegary dressing with bits of mint. There's nothing groundbreaking about the combination, but there doesn't have to be. These are just peas done right. The prosciutto isn't integrated into the dish; it sits in floppy petals on top—a meat flower I nibble on after all the peas are gone.—Max Falkowitz
Pea Shoots at...Everywhere
Pea shoots are my favorite vegetable dish to order at Chinese restaurants. (I don't have a favorite place to get 'em; I'm pretty satisfied no matter the restaurant.) Not much else compares to their freshly vegetal and sweet flavor wrapped up in tender leaves and lightly crisp stems...being slicked with oil and infused with garlic doesn't hurt either.—Robyn Lee
Asparagus Salad at Francesca
Orecchiette with Spring Vegetables and Duck Sausage at Locanda Verde
Last week I had a pasta special ($19) at Locanda Verde. Orecchiette was tossed with duck sausage, fresh peas, fava beans, and ramps, finished with cream and garnished with fiore sardo cheese. The cream was employed especially deftly, making the dish indulgent without being heavy. The fresh vegetables were the highlight, of course, announcing Spring's arrival at the table—it's hard to think of another time of year when green vegetables can overshadow duck sausage.—Ben Fishner