White Mushrooms and Grilled Ramps on Toast

Guest recipe by Alexandra Guarnaschelli,
Exec. Chef: Butter Restaurant
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog
6-8 servings

4 tbsp. Extra-Virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
2 small cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
¾ pound white mushrooms, stemmed, washed, dried and thinly sliced
12-18 fresh Ramps, washed and trimmed
1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. dry Marsala
½ cup sour cream
The zest from ½ lemon
1 tbsp. chopped (fresh) parsley
1 tbsp. chopped (fresh) tarragon

Kosher salt and freshly-ground white pepper to taste

Note: this recipe can be served with roasted meats or a piece of fish. In this case, it will be served on little pieces of Rosemary toast.

1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the diced onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and lower the heat. Add the thyme and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and a lot of the liquid has evaporated at the bottom of the pan, 8-10 minutes. Remove and discard the sprigs of thyme.
2. Heat a large sauté pan until it smokes slightly. Coat the ramps with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the ramps to the hot pan and "char" them slightly. Turn the heat off and allow them to cook an additional minute or two until they become tender. Remove from the heat and drizzle with Balsamic vinegar. Turn them onto a flat surface and cut into bite-size pieces.
3. Add the Marsala to the mushrooms and cook until the flavor of the alcohol has mellowed considerably, 5-8 minutes. Add the sour cream and allow it to melt over the mushrooms. Check the seasoning. Add the lemon zest, parsley and tarragon. Taste for seasoning. Bring to a simmer and serve on toast immediately. Top each with the ramps.

Suggestions: This would be delicious with a Gruner Veltliner - Veltlinsky for example. . I love the acidic bite and the slightly carbonated character of this wine. It would nicely compliment the earthy mushrooms and cut through the creamy flavors as well. If in the mood for red, I would love to see this seasonal nibble with something as noble and exciting as Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2000. Wow!