Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wild Leeks

Last Friday, David and I broke ground, so to speak, at our newest garden in the Mission. Conveniently located within a few blocks of our first garden and the restaurants we supply, this space so far has been a dream. It is beautifully sunny, with easy access to water and supplies, and generous homeowners who kindly shared stories and delicious coffee as we went about our first day of work. 
The condition that we found the yard in on our first day was also uplifting. The realtors put down sod just before the house was sold, but then neglected to water it in between owners. So the grass died in the hot sun, leaving behind large strips of soil that effectively kept any weeds at bay and were very easy to remove and carted off to the compost pile. (We thought that we could salvage the grass but unfortunately discovered that it was a little too far gone.)
Perhaps most thrilling, was what we discovered sprouting up all around the graying patches of sod. What looked like sprouts of some particularly invasive grass that I was initially imagining battling all summer, turned out to be ramps; sweet and tender wild leeks. David and I were thrilled- in the northeast, where we are both from, these only appear but once a year, in the early spring, and are gathered in shady groves or along streams, or purchased for a hefty price at the farmers market. The yard was covered in them and, upon our discovery, we started walking gingerly around them, trying not to crush their greens. We harvested a few pounds, which is quite a lot considering their individual weight. We delivered most of them to Weird Fish for a dinner special, and brought the rest to our house for our own dinner. We sauteed them with King Trumpet mushrooms and white wine and served them over some locally made fresh pasta. It was quite a seasonal treat!

Look for them in the coming weeks in Weird Fish specials.


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