This is the time of year when I am trying to include ramps in everything I make. I love to go out and forage for ramps, which are abundant in our area, and I chuckle a bit when I see them for sale online for $35.99 per pound.
So far this season I’ve made pasta carbonara with ramps, a grilled ramp Hollandaise to serve over steak and roasted potatoes, a ramp aioli which served as a dip for duck fat oven fries and, thinned out, as a salad dressing. I’ve included them in place of scallions in stir-frys, and I’m planning to add grilled ramps to sour cream when we make soft tacos later this week.
Then I remembered scallion pancakes. I’ve made scallion pancakes with ramps before, but I also know that most of us don’t have the time or inclination to make the dough from scratch. I had a vague recollection that I had once seen someone suggest supermarket pizza dough, so I thought I could try it.
Because it’s only me and my husband at home, I decided to make half of the 20-ounce package of refrigerated pizza dough at a time so that we could have them fresh for two dinners. And the first one was a bit of a disappointment. The dough was a bit tough, and the frying was uneven. I also realized that frying in so much oil like this may be difficult for some people in their home kitchens. Since it was pizza dough after all, I thought I might try a technique more akin to pizza.
But would that be ok? Would this be fusion? Or appropriation? Or something altogether different? By coincidence, as I was pondering this, the front-page recipe on the New York Times Cooking site featured a scallion egg wrap, a favorite Asian street food, made with a flour tortilla to be more accessible with what we find in our local stores.
While this most recent effort used ramps, scallions will work just as well. It won’t be as good as what you’ll get in a Chinese restaurant, but we loved it as an addition to a stir-fry dinner.
SCALLION or RAMP PANCAKE-PIZZA
Note: Amounts below are for half of a package of store-bought refrigerator pizza dough. By all means you can bake two pancake-pizzas on two half sheet pans, or one one after another if you only have one pan.
8-10 ounces refrigerated pizza dough
8-10 ramps or scallions
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Flour for dusting
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha or chili crisp, optional, and to taste
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter, loosely covered, until it comes to room temperature.
If using ramps, chop the bulbs and stems, and separately cut the leaves into ribbons about ½-inch wide. Combine the chopped bulbs and stems with 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. (The remaining sesame oil and salt will be added later.)
If using scallions, trim the roots and chop the white and light green portions. You can include some of the darker green sections if they are not too tough. Combine with 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 10-by-15-inches. Try to use as little flour as possible.
Scatter the ramp bulbs and stems with the sesame oil over the dough. Scatter the ribbons of ramp leaves on top and drizzle with remaining tablespoon sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. If using scallions, spread everything over the rectangle of dough.
Starting on a long side, gently roll the dough up as if for a jelly roll, tucking in the ramps or scallions as needed. Take the rolled rope and curl into a spiral, tucking the end underneath. Place on a half-sheet piece of parchment paper (about 18-by-13-inches), dust with flour and cover lightly. Allow the dough to rest for 1½-2 hours.
Meanwhile combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce, taste and adjust as needed.
After the dough has rested, roll out the spiral on the parchment paper. This gets messy as some sesame oil will get pressed out in spots, but it doesn’t have to be precise. Try to roll out the dough so that it almost covers the parchment paper. It’s ok if some spots are thinner and some thicker. In fact, I like the different textures as I eat it.
Preheat oven to 450 F, during which time the dough will relax again.
Brush the dough with canola oil and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Cut into pieces and serve with dipping sauce.