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Earth Day celebration at Prairie Grass Cafe, free mushroom soup

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April 22 is Earth Day. In honor of this celebration, Prairie Grass Cafe will offer lunch patrons a complimentary house-made River Valley Ranch Mushroom Soup.

Focusing on local ingredients, Prairie Grass Cafe adapts its menu to seasonal offerings by local farms. With the mushroom soup, Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris, chefs/co-owners at Prairie Grass Cafe showcase various types of organic, local mushrooms. "We buy our Button and Portobello mushrooms from farmer Eric Rose of River Valley Ranch in Burlington, Wisconsin, as they are a Certified Organic Farm and the oldest mushroom farm in the Midwest," Sarah says. "All crops are grown without pesticides or chemicals. We connected with them through the Green City Market. The combination of mushrooms makes the best mushroom soup. It's truly delicious."

Starting tomorrow, Prairie Grass Cafe menu will feature. Chefs Stegner and Bumbaris have provide their recipe using ramps from Tim Burton of Burton's Maplewood Farm. Guest will be able to enjoy the Ramp Crustini with Ramp Butter during ramp season. Says Stegner, " I always know that Spring has finally sprung when the ramps come in season."

Prairie Grass Cafe
Ramp Crustini with Ramp Butter
By George Bumbaris and Sarah Stegner

Ingredients:
1# of wild ramps ( I use Burton Farms from Indiana)
1 Tbsp + ¼ cup olive oil (separated)
Salt
½ cup sweet butter (softened)
8 slices of baguette - sliced on the bias, 4-5 inches long each

Method:

Cook the ramps:
Take about 10 to 20 ramps depending on the size. Clean them very well. Divide the ramps into 3 parts: the bulb, the stem and the greens into three separate parts.

At the very beginning of the season you may need to only divide them into 2 parts the top greens from the bottom stem.

Blanch the stems and bulb in boiling salted water for a few minutes. Heat a medium size saute pan over high heat, add a 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put chopped up tops of the ramps into the pan along with the blanched stems and bulbs. Cook until tender and season well with salt. If they pick up a little charred color that can taste good too.

Make the ramp butter:
Place ½ cup of the cooked ramps in a blender with ¼ cup olive oil, 1/8 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Puree well. Fold the pureed ramps into the softened butter.

Assembly:
Spread some of the ramp butter onto a slice of baguette. Toast in the oven until hot and bubbly. The butter will be vibrant green. Add the remaining cooked ramps over the top and eat!

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