Wednesday, May 14, 2014

About Ramps

Every spring I post a few recipes using ramps, but not everybody is familiar with them. They're a wild relative of the garlic and onion family. They are not cultivated but only foraged, and they show up at local markets for only a couple weeks in the spring.

Ramps ready for slicing
You can eat the entire plant (and you should!) with the exception of the roots. I like to slice the bulb and stem thinly, then cut the leave into chiffonade (thin ribbons cut cross-wise). The flavor is mild - you can even eat them raw (at least, this is true of what we call ramps here in New England; I've read a few things suggesting that maybe there are other more pungent plants that are called ramps in other places). Alternatively, try a quick grilling of whole ramps and eat them dipped in romesco sauce.

Whatever you do, if you spot ramps for sale at a farmers market or the local food coop (I saw some recently at Green Fields Market), snap them up! They're delicious, and you won't see them again for another year.

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