Morning Bruschetta

The weekend that the Dane County Farmers' Market opened on the square, I wasn't in town. I am not complaining. It sounded like it was terribly cold and dreary, with a noticeable lack of vendors. It's not that there weren't any there, just far fewer than one might expect. Beyond that, my own CSA farm, Harmony Valley, opted to wait a week before opening their stand at the market. I opted to make that my morning to enjoy the market and, boy, am I glad I did! Bright sunshine and a gentle breeze greeted me and my husband as we clutched our coffee mugs and found cream cheese-frosted cinnamon rolls to nibble as we made our way around the Capitol Square.

We didn't come home with a lot that day, but we did manage to bag some fresh spring ramps from Harmony Valley's stand. Ramps are a type of wild onion that shows up in these parts in spring and, with it, a strong garlicky smell and decidedly tender onion flavor. I love including them in any dish where green onions, leeks, or garlic would feel at home. That said, since this was my first batch of ramps this year, I wanted to showcase them. So brunch became a date with bruschetta. I tossed together a quick tomato-ramp relish and sliced some still-warm French bread. Then I fried a couple of eggs and nestled them on top of a traditional-ish bruschetta set-up on our plates. We got to use the bruschetta to sop up the golden yolk of the eggs and savor the flavor of fresh ramps that had been just barely touched with heat:

Can you make this dish without ramps? Sure. But if you get the chance to try them, this is an excellent way to enjoy them without worrying about losing them in a highly complex dish. If you can't find ramps, green onions, garlic scapes, or chives will also work. It's a great way to start the day, especially if you can enjoy it on a warm, sunny patio! Happy spring!

Farmers' Market Breakfast Bruschetta

  • 1 T. butter, olive oil, or bacon fat -- divided
  • 4-6 fresh spring ramps, cleaned and sliced
  • 1-2 ripe plum tomatoes -- chopped coarsely
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small loaf French bread
  • 2 eggs

Using half of your chosen fat (butter, olive oil, or bacon fat), sauté the ramps lightly. Cook them long enough for their color to deepen and them to soften slightly. Remove them from the heat and place in a bowl. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, granulated garlic, black pepper, and vinegar. Stir to evenly combine and set aside.

Slice the bread into a handful of small slices and arrange on two serving plates. Spoon the tomato-ramp relish over the slices of bread. Set aside.

Heat the remaining chosen fat in a small skillet (you can use the same one you cooked the ramps in) and cook the eggs according to your tastes. I chose to cook them over medium. Gently slide the eggs onto the bread on the serving plates, spoon a little tomato-ramp relish over the eggs, and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes