This ramp fava bean pea and egg spring tart is about all the beautiful, barely cooked spring vegetables and fresh eggs.
After a winter hiatus, I look forward to the return of my favorite spring veggies like ramps, fava beans, sugar snap peas, and artichokes. The farmers markets didn’t disappoint this weekend and were buzzing with all my favorite veggies. Even the beautiful blue and green eggs from my favorite egg farmer made their appearance, a sign of the weather warming up and the hens laying again. I’m so excited to share the first spring recipe for meatless Monday, a ramp fava bean pea and egg spring tart. This spring tart is about all the beautiful, barely cooked spring vegetables and fresh eggs.
- Ramps: ramps are, ramsom, wild leeks or wild garlic, not to be mistaken with scallions, shallots, or onions. They grow wild in only certain regions along the Appalachian ridge from Georgia to Quebec, and are foraged like truffles. Chefs and home cooks alike go wild for their pungent garlicky-onion flavor. I usually get them from Specialty Produce or Whole Foods in La Jolla. Their appearance is fleeting so spring onions or young spring garlic makes a delicious substitute if you can't find ramps.
- Fava beans: fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a springtime crop. Fava beans grow in big, bumpy green pods. Inside the cushy pods are large, flat, bright green beans with a tough, clear skin that need to be removed before eating. Blanch the shelled fava beans to make removing the tough clear skin easier.
- Ricotta cheese: look for sheep’s whole milk ricotta from your local Italian grocery store or specialty market. Quality ricotta only has milk, salt, and either an acid or natural culture for its ingredients. Avoid ricotta with various gums and stabilizers listed as ingredients because they are used to artificially thicken the milk solids. If you can’t find high quality sheep’s whole milk ricotta, cow’s milk ricotta that is moist, soft, and creamy is a great substitute.
- While I chose ramps, fava beans, peas, and young sugar snap pea shoots for this tart, there are endless seasonal variations that you can play with--asparagus, baby leeks, garlic scapes, spring garlic, and spring onions.
Tips for Working With Frozen Puff Pastry
For the tart base, I used a good store bought puff pastry but you’re more than welcome to make your own. Don’t skim on an all butter puff pastry so you can enjoy those delicious buttery, flaky layers of dough similar to a pie crust. Premade puff pastry is super convenient and easy to use. Follow the tips below and you’ll be rewarded with the perfect tomato tart.
- Thaw the puff pastry in the fridge the night before you want to use it. Since puff pastry is made with a lot of butter, thawing it in a cold environment allows the pastry to become pliable without softening too much.
- Unfold the puff pastry only when it’s fully thawed otherwise you’ll break or crack the pastry. Be gentle when handling the pastry.
- Flour your surface and rolling pin which allows the pastry to roll out smoothly and prevent it from sticking.
- Prick the pastry with a fork before freezing it.
- Chill the pastry before baking. I put mine in the freezer for 15 minutes while I preheat the oven. This step gives the butter a chance to re-solidify and melt slowly during baking and helps hold its shape.
- Place a baking sheet over the puff pastry before putting it in the oven so it won’t puff up during baking.
The heroes of this spring tart are the ramps and fresh eggs. Ramps have an earthy, beautiful garlic kick that adds a nice contrast to the sweetness of the fava beans and peas. A layer of homemade ricotta cheese was used to add a subtle richness to the tart but you can also use goat cheese if you want a little more tang. To make this tart complete, I added those blue eggs to show off their sunny yolked glory. Although this recipe does seem involved, the result is a delicious medley of green goodness to showcase spring’s glory and marks the beginning of good things to come. This tart is best eaten while still warm from the oven with a scatter of chive blossoms, micro greens, and toasted hazelnuts. For a completely meal, serve it with a crisp salad.
Ramp fava bean pea and egg spring tart
- 1 sheet of frozen butter puff pastry, 10x13 inches
- 6 organic eggs
- ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsps heavy cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8-10 ramps (wild garlic) both leaves and bulbs
- ½ cup double podded fava beans
- ¼ cup young pea shoots, save a few sprigs for garnish
- ¼ cup peas
- Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnut, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup microgreens and young pea shoots
- 2 tbsps chive blossoms
- In a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and a cracked egg and whisk until frothy. Set aside.
- Thaw the puff pastry according to the package directions. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the puff pastry on the baking sheet.
- Fold over half an inch on each edge of and press down to form a rim. Use a fork and prick inside the rim of the pastry to prevent the center from puffing up while baking.
- Egg wash the top of the pastry and freeze it for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bake the puff pastry base for 22-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.
- While the puff pastry is baking, prepare the fava beans. Snap off a tip of each pod and squeeze out the beans.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the fava beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes depending on their size. Drain and set them aside to cool.
- Once they are cool enough to handle, peel the tough outer, bitter skins from each one unless they are small and sweet.
- Once the puff pastry is done baking, press down the middle of the rectangular base.
- In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, heavy cream, and salt and spread it over the inside border of the crispy pastry.
- Arrange the ramps, fava beans, peas, and pea shoots over the ricotta mixture and make 5 little spaces for the egg yolks.
- Crack each egg and pour the egg into your cupped hand with your fingers closed and let the white drain into a small bowl. Gently place the egg yolk in one of the spaces. Repeat until you’re done with the eggs.
- Return the pastry to the oven and bake for 15 minutes on the bottom rack until the yolks are set but still a little soft.
- Remove the tart from the oven, top with microgreens and chopped hazelnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.