This super-fantastic omelet tastes best if you’ve foraged the morels and ramps yourself (just sayin’). If you find some morels at a farmer’s market, they’ll be fine too, although you may need to take out a small bank loan to buy some. Please do not purchase ramps. They are very slow to spread and commercial picking can wipe out the ramps in a forest really quickly. If you’re out in the forest and you come across a patch of ramps and you want some for dinner, please don’t be greedy. Dig out a small amount, enough for a dinner or two and leave the rest of the patch be so it will be there for you next year and the year after and the year after that. In some areas, where over-harvesting has endangered ramps, harvesting may not be permitted.
Ramps are Allium tricoccum, a bulb-forming perennial. Around here they are often called wild leeks. They look like a small tulip, with a bulb underground and a bit of reddish colour on the stem. If you aren’t sure, smell them. Ramps have a strong onion-like smell.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a very modest patch of ramps growing in a woodsy area of my back yard. This morning I dug out just two of them. It doesn’t seem like much but the good thing is that ramps have a strong flavour and it only takes a little bit to enhance the star of the show today, the morels. You can eat the entire ramp, from bulb to leaves. Just clean them and chop them up. If you have morels but no ramps, use a shallot or a bit of onion and garlic.
For this omelet, I also chopped up a one inch piece of quality kielbasa. Vegetarians can ignore this – you’ll still get a great result. For meat eaters, know that a bit of pork enhances the flavour of ramps and the ramps enhance the flavour of the morels. Make sense?
I cook my filling first, remove it from the pan, then cook the omelet in the same pan so any residual flavours are available for the omelet.
I simply cook the ramps, kielbasa, and morels together. If I wasn’t using the kielbasa, I might add a bit of steak spice or a good bbq spice mix to the filling. The bottom picture shows you how I like them done. The ramps pretty much disappear in the mix and the morels and kielbasa start to brown. I like the mushrooms to have a bit of a crunchy texture in the omelet, but there is no need for you to cook everything down as much as I do. However you prefer it is fine.
Please do not eat morels raw. Morels contain a small amount of hydrozine toxins. Don’t panic though, the toxin is destroyed through cooking. I have met people who are very cavalier about mushroom toxicity, as if the toxins affect you less if you add enough machismo around consuming them. These people are stupid. One day they will eat the wrong mushroom and come to that realization themselves. There are no take-backs.
I also want to note here that there are false morels which are poisonous. If you find some mushrooms and you think they may be morels but you aren’t sure, show them to somebody who knows. In fact never eat any wild mushrooms that you cannot identify with certainty. Just don’t. Ever.
Lecture over….now back to our regular programming……
Cook the omelet as you normally would, using any residual oil left behind by the filling. You may need to add a wee bit more oil to the pan. I didn’t. When your eggs are just about cooked, add the filling right on top.
Then just fold the omelet over the filling and slide it onto a plate. I grind some pepper on the omelet and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt. For my omelet, I added a bit of sriracha on the side because I like a bit of heat. You could also garnish with some parsley or perhaps some fresh basil.