Grilled Sardines with Ramps and Rhubarb Agrodolce

Grilled Sardines with Ramps and Rhubarb Agrodolce-2168

When our son Oliver was seven or eight and we lived within shouting distance of East Cambridge I used to take him with me to visit Courthouse Fish Market on Thursday afternoons to pick up seafood for dinner.  Courthouse is an old-school establishment.  Glass cases filled with ice and gleaming fresh fish–sardines, tilefish, snapper, salmon, flunder, bluefish, squid, swordfish and several varieties of clams, including the large razor clams you’ve seen here before.  Opposite the fresh fish display a freezer holds frozen octopus, Alaskan king crab legs, squid and fava beans and wooden cases stacked nearby contain salt cod.  On Thursdays Moray eels came in from Portugal.  One of these arm-sized monsters, dark gray with brilliant yellow spots and a ferocious set of teeth in its gaping jaws usually occupied pride of place in the front window.  We stood in front of the window and stared.  People ate that?  We no longer live within hailing distance of this venerable Cambridge institution, but when I pass through the neighborhood I try to stop by.  For this week’s Sardines with Ramps and Rhubarb Agrodolce I made a special trip.

Where the wild things are – Fiddleheads and Ramps with Salami

Fiddleheads and Ramps with Salami-15

In the last couple of years I’ve eaten things I would have included on a culinary bucket list, if I one–nettles and bottarga, for example, and now ramps.  Of course I’d heard of ramps, and when I recently found a bunch (while foraging in the produce section at Whole Foods) I rejoiced.  I could finally that make ramp butter recipe I’d been saving for years.  When when the Hakurei turnips we palnned to write about failed to make an appearance, Jody invoked imminent domain and requisitioned my ramps for this week’s recipe – Fiddleheads and Ramps with Salami.  Forager emptor.