Ward starts with a bed of what he calls buttermilk "rampch," a creamy dressing that is less Hidden Valley and more defined by the pungent, herbaceous flavor of the foraged ramps cut into it. From there, he arranges a miniature cornucopia of vegetables in various forms: blanched fiddleheads, roasted and pickled beets, baby carrots, English peas, Easter egg radishes, artichoke hearts, fermented turnips, asparagus, sorrel, tiny crispy potato chips and little edible flowers.
It is a light dish that cuts through the sometimes meat-heavy barrage of dishes that can arrive at Gunshow. But it is also a reminder: Underneath all of that pollen, the bounty of spring is on the way. Just don’t forget to take your allergy pill.