Turn your garden harvest into an amazing meal. This vegetable curry is delicious and particularly fun to make as it’s made with spring-foraged ingredients – including ramps and dandelion greens.
Ramps (aka wild leeks) can be found in some woods in the spring here in the Northeast, but if you can’t find them, substitute garlic instead.
Dandelion greens are commonly found on lawns and in gardens this time of year, but if you can’t guarantee yours are clean (ree of contamination by dogs, chemicals, etc.) I wouldn’t eat them. Try to buy them at a Farmer’s Market or substitute a different green, like kale or collards, instead.
Recipe for Spring Vegetable Curry with Cilantro Chutney
Ingredients for the curry:
* 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil or ghee
* 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
* 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
* 4 whole ramps, chopped fine (use 4 cloves of peeled garlic if you don’t have ramps)
* 1 Serrano chile pepper, minced (leave the seeds in for a spicy curry)
* 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
* one 14 oz. can organic whole coconut milk
* 1 cup asparagus tips (use homegrown, if possible)
* 1 cup chopped dandelion greens (use collards or kale if you don’t have dandelion greens)
* 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped (I used half of a red one and half of an orange one)
* 1 large tomato, chopped
* 1 teaspoon turmeric
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt- optional
Ingredients for the chutney:
* green tops of 4 ramps, chopped fine (use 1/4 cup chopped mint if you don’t have ramps) * 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
* juice of 1/2 lime
* 1 teaspoon organic sugar
1. In a large skillet or wok, melt the coconut oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook for a minute or two until they “pop”, then add the ginger, minced ramps, and chili pepper. Stir everything around for a minute or so.
2. Add the chopped sweet potato to the pan along with the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if the liquid seems too thick.
3. While the sweet potato is cooking, place your clean fiddleheads in a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 10 minutes (fiddleheads are a wild food, and this is the recommended preparation so that you don’t become ill from them…better safe than sorry). After they’ve been boiled for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
4. Add the fiddleheads, the dandelion greens, the bell pepper, and the tomato to the sweet potatoes. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender, again adding a little water if necessary.
5. Mix in the spices (and salt, if using). Cook for another minute or two. Taste and adjust the spices, if necessary. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly while you proceed with the chutney.
6. Mix the minced ramp tops with the cilantro in a small bowl. Add the fresh lime juice and the sugar. Mix well, and serve over the curry.
–Winnie Abramson writes the organic gardening and food blog Healthy Green Kitchen.
Photo credits: Winnie Abramson