What is a ramp?
A few months ago, I wrote about two out-of-the-ordinary vegetables: the daikon radish and sunchokes. Now, I have another vegetable to introduce ... the ramp.
Ramps (also known as wild leeks) are wild onions and can be found in farmers' markets right about ... NOW! Grown in the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada, they have a very short season and a bold flavor that is a little onion, a little garlic and a lot delicious.
If you enjoy leeks, green onions (scallions), garlic and the like, then you will probably adore these.
For the ramp beginner, I suggest starting off with a super simple preparation, like the Easy Sauteed Ramps
recipe below. That will give you a good feel for what they really taste like - and whether you adore them (I do!).
Another fabulous way to eat ramps? In a pesto like my Ramp Pesto
. It's a fabulous, earthy flavor that pairs beautifully with tortellini and other pastas.
Have you tried ramps? What did you think of them?
Easy Sauteed Ramps
10 ramps, washed
1 tbsp olive oil
Chop the ramps - both the white parts and the green leaves -- and discard roots. Set aside.
In a medium to large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ramps and cook, stirring occasionally until the leaves are wilted and the white parts are translucent and slightly golden. Salt lightly with sea salt.
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.