Spring Scion Search Leads To Wild Leeks

Field of Dreams/Michael Godel

Field of Dreams/Michael Godel

 April 18, 2012



The subdivisions and four-lane roads loom close by but down here on the forest floor you would never know it.  Protected land descendant and magical, handed down from generation to generation through noble and notable families. My search is for the scions of spring, young shoots rising up from the loam. The tender green army of accretion ramps through the humus. Hunching in the mulch, great care is taken to remove one Allium tricoccum here, one wild leek there. Feeling through the marl, separating bulb from root without disturbing the subterranean system. This is how I spend my morning.

Harvested Ramps

Harvested Ramps

In the afternoon claustrophobia while tasting through 30 producer’s wines at Austria Uncorked. The Trump Hotel’s 8th Floor zimmer is too small for this event. There must be 200 geeks standing shoulder to shoulder, grappling for space. Must make quick haste of the room. Here then three Austrian standouts to pour alongside the cooked wild onions.

Kurt Angerer Grüner Veltliner Spies 2010 ($22.95) deserves props on a day when Austria’s alpha white plays second fiddle to the more invigorating Rieslings. A Grüner of mellow, yellow body, mind and soul.  Stone fruit, electrical banana and wouldn’t it be refreshing to see this varietal “bound to be the very next craze.” Saffron, green wine speaking terriorilly of gravel, granite and loess.  88

Heinrich Blaufrankisch Leithaberg 2009 ($36.95) out of Burgenland is a spirited and sugilite-hued in the vein of top cru Gamay. Versatile and lithe, able to withstand peppery, cooked greens and the would be food kill of the bulbous lily. Lavender imbued, Blau acts as a verdant harbinger for dinner. Signature red of Austria possessive of an art film quality that speaks a languid foreign language.  90

Bründlmayer, Steinmassel Riesling 2006 (0120600, $29) from Kamptal is a racy, stone cold, sobering Riesling just beginning to lay off the gas. The petrol notes mixed with a leesy, citrus pang show off the peripatetic nature of the varietal.  The zen of the intelligent Bründlmayer machine.  91

Wild leeks as vegetable, condiment and relish. Here, last night’s preparations.

Cleaning the Ramps

Cleaning the Ramps

T-Bone Steak, Brisket Burgers and Fried Leeks

Cannelini Beans, Zatar and Wild Leeks

Cannelini Beans, Zatar and Wild Leeks


Tomorrow, Ramp Omelette and Wild Leek Pizza.



Good to go!

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