Finally! We moved, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet. We’re living out of boxes and we don’t have a kitchen yet. While our perfect kitchen is being built (which we will be talking about soon), I’m going to have to get crafty. I do have many plug-in appliances (rice cooker, toaster oven, panini press, waffle maker, microwave, etc.) so we’re still going to have a ball here. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how much I (or you) can do without a kitchen. (Gulp) Determined to eat well every single day without exceptions, here goes…

Over the years, I haven’t had the greatest opinion of Fresh Direct. Either something was left out of my order or something was broken. In 2006, I wrote about our worst experience where seemingly everything that could go wrong did: frozen stuff de-frosted, late delivery, ruined products, no solution through customer service. In the last four years, I’ve only ordered from them a handful of times, and it’s only because I love their par-baked breads, particularly the Ciabatta Rolls.

Prosciutto, ramps, and gruyere on wood board

After moving to Long Island City, less than two months ago, we’ve been forced to order from Fresh Direct several times. The only supermarket close to me is a C-Town and it just doesn’t count. To my surprise, the produce has gotten better and they now have a rating system to help you decide what’s good in stock right now. Another notable difference was that two orders came without missing items. Then, when they were short of an ordered item, they tried replacing it with a similar item. I didn’t like the replacement so they took it off the bill, but I did appreciate the effort for trying.

Last Thursday, I was invited to Fresh Direct for a dinner and a tour of the facilities. I was actually quite blown away. They were aware of how bad their service was years ago and they’ve been working hard to improve. The efficiency and coordination required to run a business that sells highly perishable products with any respectable margin is truly amazing. It’s like watching the fine tuned productions of Cirque du Soleil. They have achieved the expertise needed in each of their staff by maintaining an astoundingly low turn-over. So many workers were close to hitting their 10-year mark.

Prosciutto, ramps, and gruyere on wood board 7

We left with wonderful goodie bags including both prepared and fresh foods. Looking at my stash, the ramps, prosciutto, and Gruyere automatically jumped out as a natural flavor combination. Amy, who heads up their deli department, turned me onto their Cave-Aged Gruyere. It’s sweet and nutty, with a smooth creamy texture. Frankly, I don’t like calling it a Gruyere because it stands way above the rest. This trio would be great in a sandwich, on a pasta, or just spread out on a plate like antipasto. Here, I presented them on a crostini. (As I mentioned, par-baked Ciabatta is a staple in my freezer.)

This is a very loose recipe. It’s so easy that I feel guilty and I didn’t even want to give quantities. Yet, don’t mistake simplicity with less value. It’s such a beautiful and delicious starter, I would certainly serve it to guests.

Ramps, Prosciutto, and Cave Aged Gruyere
~versatile quantity

  • thinly sliced prosciutto
  • cave aged Gruyere
  • ramps
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/4″ sliced crusty bread (preferably bite-size)

Instructions –

1. Bring the prosciutto and Gruyere to room temperature before using. It will be much better than straight out of the fridge. Clean the ramps thoroughly. Cut off root ends and shake off excess water.

ramps 2 cleaned ramps

2. Place ramps in an oven-safe dish. You can bend them to fit. Drizzle with a little olive oil.

3. Broil (2″ away from heat source in toaster oven broiler, 4″ away from heat source in oven broiler), watching carefully until leaves wilt and white parts are tender. The time will vary based on thickness of ramps and strength of heat source which varies significantly. Remove and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Don’t use too much salt because prosciutto and Gruyere is salty. Cut the ramps into segments (1″ to 2″). Set aside.

broiled ramps

4. Lay out slices of crusty bread. Place a little prosciutto on top.

prosciutto on toasts 2

Add some broiled ramps on top. Drizzle with a little olive oil. I use a better olive oil here for finishing, than the one I broiled with. Use a peeler and slice thin wide pieces of Gruyere to top it off. Serve immediately.

Prosciutto, ramps, and gruyere on wood board 8

posted by jessica at 09:28 AM Filed under American, Italian, Recipes, Shopping. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.