Ramps: The “In” Vegetable

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Ramps are in season right now! What are ramps you ask? Also known as wild leeks, they are in the same family as scallions, shallots, leeks, onions, and garlic. I have never cooked with them myself so I could not resist this bunch I saw today at the farmer’s market in Union Square.

First things first: clean the ramps. Run under cold water and lay on a kitchen towel. Gently pull back and peel off the translucent skins and cut off the hairy root. Place in a plastic storage bag with a damp towel and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Note: the entire ramp is edible. That is the bulb, stalk, and green leaves!

Tonight’s ramps adventure: a simple sauté in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Delicious! Sort of like an onion but not nearly as sharp. Not really like garlic but definitely strong flavor. Sort of like a leek but not as mellow. They are truly unique. I love them! New favorite vegetable. Will be cooking all week with what I have. I don’t know how many dishes I will get out this bunch but I am thinking soup, pasta with sautéed ramps in cream sauce, scrambled tofu with roasted potatoes and ramps, ramps with asparagus and pistachios…

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