by Alyssa Jerrell
Spring and summer are by far the most exciting times to eat and cook in Rhode Island—our chefs and guests delight equally in the abundant return of fresh local produce. With our spring menu at Ellie’s, we wanted to let these amazing products shine through on their own—we’ve been re-inventing the squash wheel every month over the long winter, and it’s time to finally let the bounty of spring speak for itself!
With our grilled cheese, we wanted to pay homage to the wild flavors of our region—mushrooms and ramps. The local mushroom blend of maitake, oyster, beech, and king trumpets are roasted with a sprinkle of thyme to bring out their meaty earthiness, while the ramps are caramelized to a sweet, bright perfection. We then use a classic cheddar cheese and grill it together on our new spelt & honey sourdough. Together this sandwich is a rich, savory, and lightly sweet comfort, perfect for those rainy spring days!
For our newest vegetarian sandwich, we took inspiration from the Middle East with hummus and halloumi cheese. To make the most of our newfound greenery, we’ve added English peas to the hummus for a light, bright spread. The halloumi cheese is a semi-soft, salty sheep’s milk cheese that is most similar to a mozzarella, and perhaps even more delicious. To complement these rich flavors, we’ve added a fresh salad of bean sprouts, cucumber, and pickled carrots which bring sweetness and acidity. This sandwich is served on our thick & fluffy foccacia bread, and it is delicious as a cold sandwich or pressed on our grill.
For all of our loyal friends who have asked us to bring back our delicious chicken salad sandwich, we have a spring chicken salad for you! This is dressed in a green goddess dressing (sour cream, mayonnaise, and herbs) with gem lettuce, cucumbers, and sliced radish on our signature croissant. This sandwich feels at once classic and unexpected, and is already a crowd favorite!
And finally, our most exciting offering this season may just be a salad—our Strawberry & Burrata Salad! A rich ball of burrata cheese (silky-soft buffalo mozzarella) is nestled into a bed of peppery arugula with sliced strawberries and rhubarb, marcona almonds, and a balsamic dressing. This salad screams “summer is coming!” in the most delicious way, and will leave you feeling full and refreshed while you enjoy the waning springtime.