Skate with Spring

As you may know, I post a lot of food photos on Instagram. I was recently notified by The Feed Feed that the above photo is selected to be featured on the Grow NYC page of its website. The page promotes green market eating, and recipes are shared within the community who shops at the green markets. The following is a list of vendors I got my ingredients from at the Union Square Greenmarket. Skate from Pura Vida Fishiers. Ramps and Fiddlehead Ferns from Berried Treasures. The pea shoots are from Bodhi Tree Farm. Thanks to all the vendors for the wonderfully fresh and local ingredients your provide us. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Pan-fried Skate with Sauté Ramps, Fiddlehead Ferns, Pea Shoots and Ramp Sauce - Serves two

Ramp Sauce
Ramp leaves chopped (save ½ tsp for garnish)
1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp. of cold butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil for sauteing

Make the sauce first, sauté the ramp leaves with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then add a cup of stock reduce by half. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender. Return the sauce to the sauce pan, then swirl in cold butter to thicken, keep warm.

Ramps, Fiddlehead Ferns and Pea Shoots
1/2 pound of fiddlehead ferns (if you can't find this, you can substitute with asparagus)
1/4 pound of ramp bulbs split in half (approx. 8 - 10 bulbs with leaves) save leaves for the sauce
1/2 pound of pea shoots
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

For the fiddlehead ferns, soak in water and rinse a few times. Be sure to trim off any dry ends.  Heat a skillet, once it’s heated, add olive oil. Add the ramp bulbs, season with salt and pepper. Sauté until it’s transparent, add the ferns, season with salt and pepper cooked for at least 3-4 minutes until the ferns are tendered, finally add the pea shoots until it's wilted for about 2 minutes and keep warm.

Pan-fried Skate
2 skate wing fillets (approx. 6 – 8 oz each)
1/4 cup of flour for dredging 
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 tbsp of butter
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
Salt and pepper to season

Rinse the skate fillets then pat dry with paper towels to ensure there's no excess moisture before dredging in flour.  Season each fillet with salt and pepper.  Put a pinch of salt in the flour so it is also seasoned.  Dredge the fillets with flour and shake off excess.  Heat a large pan in medium to high heat, add the oil and heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add butter until the oil and butter mixture starts to bubble, then carefully add each fillet to the pan and use a fish spatula to gently press down the fillets in the pan to be sure the fillets are laid flat and that they are cooking evenly.  Cook the fillets until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes) on the first side.  Once you see the first side is cooked and almost cooked through to the side that's facing up (you'll see the edges start to brown), gently flip over to the other side and cook for another 2 minutes.  Once the fillets are done, add lemon juice and serve with sauce, vegetables, garnish with ramp leaves.

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