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How to Cook With Ramps

In Season: Ramps

It's hard to definitively declare when Spring has arrived, but there's one foodie cue that can't be mistaken. The arrival of (and inevitable industry frenzy around) the first ramps of the season. Since these highly sought-after wild greens can be elusive, swoop in on them if you track them down! Learn what to do with them and read more.

A member of the onion family, ramps (or wild leeks) grow in the swampy and wooded parts of the East Coast, from South Carolina to Quebec, Canada. Because they are foraged, and have a limited season of about six weeks beginning in April, they're scarce and expensive. The vegetables are prized for their robust flavor, which can be described as a cross between onion and garlic. Seek out wild leeks through farmers or trusted foragers. Because of their short shelf life of two to three days, they're unlikely to be distributed in supermarkets. The chivelike vegetable will have stalks with broad, green, tulip-ish leaves, a magenta stem, and a white bulb.

Look for ramps at the beginning of their season, when they're verdant in color and tender like scallions, and avoid any with wilted leaves. Wild leeks are best simply prepared. Serve them raw, when they're intensely garlicky, or mellow their bite by blanching, grilling, sautéeing, or pickling them:

Have you ever tried ramps before?

Source: Flickr User kthread

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GummiBears GummiBears 6 years
I don't think they grow in my neck of the woods.
rezgurl rezgurl 6 years
Ramps are awesome.. the are as abundant as weeds in these parts.. now I want to try that pickled ramp recipe..
Spectra Spectra 6 years
Sadly, I can never find them by me. They don't grow around here and you obviously can't ship them, so I've never had them. They sound so yummy, though.
nancita nancita 6 years
I have had these at restaurants and never really knew what they were. thank you!
flavacrisp flavacrisp 6 years
I have never cooked them myself, but have had them out. They are tasty!
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