I was walking around the farmer’s market just sipping in the glory of spring. I love when the market is full of great produce. It’s like a different world compared to the winter months when all I see is apples. I wanted to highlight the bounty of May so I picked up some sunchokes, some healthy ramps, and even splurged on maitake mushrooms ($10 per 1/2 lb).

Sunchokes are tubers, a little starchier than jicama, but taste like mellow artichokes, but sweeter. I took this picture because I thought it was amazing how different they look when you scrub them.


Our friend Bill has been raving about Maitake mushrooms and while I’ve eaten these once or twice in restaurants, I had never cooked with them. Not only is my goal in life to taste everything (except for insects), but it’s also to know how to cook everything. Here was a good opportunity.

maitake mushrooms

You already know that we love ramps, and we got to get it in as much as we can right now. (This picture is just the stems but we used the leaves as well.)

Ramp Bottoms

As I walked home with Ice (my Jack Russell) happily trotting alongside, I started planning out how I could combine these great ingredients to make a tribute to my birthday month, May.

May Crostini
~makes 10 pieces

  • 12. 4 ounces sunchokes, scrubbed and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 bunch ramps (about 13-15 stems)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces maitake mushrooms, separated with your fingers
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cream sherry
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • crusty bread (nothing flimsy), toasted if it’s not strong enough


1. Put sunchokes, water, butter, and salt in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, un-covered, for 10 minutes.

sunchokes in pot

2. Drain the sunchokes, reserving the liquid. Put sunchokes in the food processor and put the liquid back in the pot. Reduce liquid to 1/4 cup. Pour reduced liquid into food processor. Process while drizzling in cream, and continue until you reach your preferred texture. (some like more smooth, some like chunkier) Season to taste and set aside.

3. Separate the leaves from the stems of the ramps. Slice the leaves in 1/2″ segments and the stems in 1/8″ segments.

4. Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute ramps stems for 1 minute. Add the leaves, season, and flip around. When leaves just start wilting, add mushrooms and butter. Flip around until mushrooms are moist and tender. Add cream sherry. Flip around and remove from heat. Season to taste.

maitake and ramps 2

5. Spread sunchoke spread on bread and top with maitake and ramp mixture.

sunchoke spread

May Crostini 2

posted by jessica at 09:21 AM Filed under Inventive, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.