Monday, May 6, 2013

Turkey & Wild Ramp Meatloaf over Mashers with Wild Ramp Greens

So today I picked up a very, very special ingredient that was the inspiration for this whole dish...wild ramps! I received a message from one of the local shop owners here in New York that a chef from the area was going to forage some wild ramps and would I like some? Do geese honk? Of course I would like some!! Ramps are a type of wild onion. They look a lot like large scallions and have a very oniony/garlic flavor. The whole plant is edible and they grow in huge patches in the woods of North America and Canada. They have a very short growing season, starting in March (in some places in the south) and lasting through May. They are the first wild spring vegetable to sprout along with morels (a wild mushroom) and wild asparagus. I have always wanted to forage for them myself and always forget, realizing all too late that the season has passed. This year though, I plan on taking a stroll through my parent's property in upstate New York to see if they have any patches of them. They are such a wonderful ingredient, and how awesome if you could find them for free! They are a lot like leeks in flavor and are incredibly tender and super easy to clean. Unlike a leek you can use the whole plant; I like to chop up the white part and use it raw and I like to saute the green leaves and use it much like I would a spinach. The leaves have a slightly garlicky/onion flavor as well so they are awesome additions to any dish, who doesn't love garlic!

My meatloaf recipe has been a  family favorite for a long time, but I don't mind experimenting with it. There are a few things that I always do though. First, I always use pasture raised, ground turkey because I want the milder meat flavor that won't overpower the other veggies that I like to mix into the loaf. The second thing I always use when making meatloaf is some sort of soft, tangy cheese such as, chevre or feta. The cheese adds to the moisture level of the meatloaf creating pockets of ooey, gooey, cheesy deliciousness. The last thing I always do is add in a bunch of vegetables. I have my all time favorites; roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, but please feel free to add in whatever you love! This time I used roasted red peppers and the white, bulb part of the wild ramps. This combination was absolutely perfect! My meatloaf is a little more "blonde" in color because I use a loaf pan when I bake it. Some recipes call for you to leave the whole exterior exposed on a sheet pan when you are cooking so that you get a nice brown crust. I do love the crust but I find that when you are cooking a turkey loaf the moisture is very important because you lack fat in the meat, so if you don't keep it protected in a loaf pan you end up with a very dry meatloaf. This, then requires the dousing of ketchup or tomato sauce; of which, I am not a fan, sorry! You could always remove the meatloaf for the last 10 minutes of cooking and place it on a sheet pan for more browning. My family has always loved my meatloaf as is so I haven't fooled with it. I just might do this the next time though and let you know how it turns out, thanks for the idea ha, ha!

This recipe serves 4 easily.



1lb Pasture raised ground turkey, mine was dark meat.
1/2 Cup homemade seasoned breadcrumbs, click the link to get my recipe.
1/4 Cup chopped, organic roasted red peppers, I use Divinia.
1/4 Cup wild ramps, white parts minced, reserve the greens.
3 Cloves organic garlic, grated or minced.
1 Tbsp dried, organic oregano
1 Tbsp dried, organic poultry seasoning
2 Farm raised eggs, slightly whisked.
2 Tbsp organic, pasture raised milk, I used 2%.
3oz Soft goat cheese, I used a garlic & herb chevre from R&G Cheesemakers.
1/4 Cup parmesan cheese, grated.
1 1/2 tsp Sea salt, you need a lot of salt for ground meats.
1 tsp Fresh ground black pepper


6 Medium size organic potatoes, cubed, I do not peel my potatoes.
1/4 Cup Organic, pasture raised sour cream
2 Tbsp Earth Balance or pasture raised butter
1/4 Cup organic, pasture raised milk, I use 2%.
1 tsp Olive oil, to cook the ramp greens.
The reserved ramp greens from the bulbs used in the meatloaf, about 1/4 cup when cooked, chopped.
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper or spraying it with a mister with olive oil. I use parchment paper to ensure that it will come out, I am not daring enough to only spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine all meatloaf ingredients. Only mix to combine, do not over mix.

Put into the loaf pan and shape into the loaf shape. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 40-45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees.

While the meatloaf is baking, place potatoes in a large pot of salted, cold water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10-15 minutes or until they are tender enough to mash. Drain.

While the potatoes are boiling heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil and saute the ramp greens just until they are wilted.

In a large bowl combine sour cream, butter, milk, salt, pepper and wilted ramp greens. Add in drained, hot potatoes and mash to the consistency you desire, I like a chunky mash. Cover with foil and set on the stove to stay warm until your meatloaf is done.

To Serve, spoon a bed of potatoes on your plate and top with 2 slices of meatloaf, enjoy! I like to drizzle mine with siracha!

No comments:

Post a Comment