Spring Vegetable Salad with House Ricotta, Brioche Crouton, Poached Quail Egg

Spring is always one of my favorite seasons in the kitchen, with bright and fresh ingredients replacing the deep, rich flavors of winter.  This salad featured some very fresh seasonal ingredients, including ramps, baby carrots, radishes and baby greens from Lucky Leaf Gardens.
The ramp greens were used to make a chimichurri for another dish and the ends were reserved for pickling.  The pickled ramp on this dish was pickled with red wine vinegar, white granulated sugar, salt and pickling spices.  The mixture was brought to a simmer to dissolve the sugar and bring out the flavors of the spices before cooling and pouring over the ramps.  The ramps were placed in a cryovac bag with the brine for storage.
The carrots were prepared sous vide at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and fifteen minutes, with butter, ginger, vanilla bean and orange zest added to the bag before cooking.  
The quail egg was poached very briefly in water with white wine vinegar, then seasoned with a couple flecks of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  The quail eggs have to be prepared “a la minute” or at the time or service because of their size and delicacy.
The brioche crouton was a large dice from a loaf of brioche that was prepared in-house.  It was deep fried at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and tossed with kosher salt and grated parmesan cheese.  The croutons must be allowed to drain on a paper towel for an extended amount of time to remove as much excess oil as possible.

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