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How to use ramps?

I must confess that I know nothing about ramps. They appeared in the market over the weekend. A quick search call them 'wild leeks' and are described as having a strong onion-garlic flavor. They look like Lilies of the Valley. What dish do you make with ramps?

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  1. This is a very good, easy recipe that I make a few times a season:

    http://www.babbonyc.com/recipe-spagh-...

    There are other threads on this subject here. Like these:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/701664

    I have this one saved:

    http://www.publicradio.org/columns/sp...

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/511085

    1. One of the threads erica linked to ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/511085 ) has some good ones. Personally, we've loved the Ramp Crepes, Ramp Risotto, and Ramp Frittata.

      Good luck and enjoy.

      1. I love ramp risotto, as the flavor really gets into the rice

        2 Replies
        1. re: magiesmom

          I recently improvised a sun dried tomato and spinach risotto. Just before taking the risotto off the burner I stirred in two bunches of ramps I had previously sauteed in in a little olive oil. The garlicky-onion taste was just enough to know they were there but was not overpowering. Delicious.

        2. I did a wonderful ramp dish this weekend featuring other early spring produce.

          1 bunch baby asparagus
          5 or 6 morels
          1 bunch ramps
          2 tbs. Olive oil

          Cut woody ends off asparagus. Cut the rest into 3/4" pieces. Saute over medium heat in a large skilled. Cut the whitelpurple parts of the ramps into 3/4" pieces. Make a chiffonade of the leaves. Add the sliced ramps to the asparagus.

          Cut the morels into 3/4 inch pieces. Add to ramp/asparagus mixture and stir for a minute or two. Add ramp leaf chiffonade, and season with salt and pepper.

          Remove from heat when chiffonade is wilted and serve.

          1. I love these pickled ramps as part of a pub lunch. I knock the sugar down to 1/4 cup when I make them. http://www.food52.com/recipes/4164_pi...

            3 Replies
            1. re: THewat

              Nice recipe. Is it really necessary to boil the ramps for 1 minute though if you are later pouring the boiling mixture over them?

              1. re: ttoommyy

                I don't know - it might mellow them a little. The only other thing I pickle is red onion, so I'm not much of an expert. I did try another pickled ramp recipe last year (Momofuku) which also says to blanch them "if they are more mature." (I didn't like the Momofuku results - the brine is super sweet.)

            2. Ramp vinaigrette over crab cakes

               
              3 Replies
              1. re: danna

                ooo - how do you make your ramp vinaigrette? Just use like shallot?

                1. re: THewat

                  exactly. just a mustard-based vinaigrette w/ ramps instead of shallot. I add some honey because I think it smooths out the strong flavors of the vinegar and ramp. (and i like honey)

                  1. re: danna

                    heading out to woods with shovel...

              2. I just did a carbonara-type pasta dish with my first ramps of the season - it was truly fantastic.

                http://darksideofthefridge.wordpress....

                5 Replies
                1. re: Krislady

                  wow, that looks fabulous. I think I know what I'm having for dinner tonight! And those ramps look so much nicer than the ones I paid $20/ld for at WF.

                  1. re: danna

                    Thanks - we were very happy with it. (Though I don't think I'd pay $20/lb. for them!)

                    1. re: Krislady

                      Looks great! Can't wait to try it myself! Thank you.

                      1. re: Krislady

                        made it, and really liked it. Thanks again!

                        1. re: danna

                          I'm so glad you enjoyed it - thanks for the feedback!

                  2. l did some of my medical training in West Virginia a long time ago. Got there during ramp season, never forgot it. People standing on the side of the road selling grocery bags of ramps for a dollar or two a bag, dirt had to be on the roots or no one would buy them. Schools closed a few days in the beginning of the season as it smelled too badly for them. The recipe l learned there was taught to me at a ramp festival in Charleston, WV. Blanch a bunch of cleaned ramps with bottom of root bulb cut off. After blanching cook in bacon fat till done, 3-4 minutes, put a little salt and eat. No other recipe l have had shows their nature better.

                    1 Reply
                    1. Olive oil, salt & pepper and then throw them on the grill. Easy and oh so delicious.

                      1. I've made a quiche with them. A quick saute in olive oil. Custard, some swiss cheese and a savory pie crust. Big hit.

                        1. A vendor at the farmer's maket suggested making "pesto" with them,
                          It was yummy.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: calliope_nh

                            Ramp pesto freezes nicely, too.

                             
                            1. re: calliope_nh

                              I'm pickling the white and red parts this weekend. I'll save the green tops and probably make some pesto out of them. It's really good.

                              @danna - $20/lb seriously??? ouch that hurts. I just bought a large amount this morning at the greenmarket for pickling. I got just over 3 lbs for about $30 (they were $3 a bunch and 10 bunches put me over 3 lbs that I need for pickling).

                              1. re: LNG212

                                yeah, $20/lb. the sad part is, they were....sad. I had to carefully pick through them at WF to get ones that weren't going a little limp/scraggley.

                                At the tailgate market in Western North Carolina this weekend, I'm sure they had some beauties, but there either were none, or none left by the time I got there at noon. Strange, huh?

                                1. re: danna

                                  I guess I never even looked at a place like WF for them. And I think they've just become so known now plus the short season all adds up to them disappearing quickly. When I went to get the ones for pickling, I went to the greenmarket around 9 a.m. I suppose we must all learn now the "early bird ... " adage!

                                  1. re: danna

                                    "I had to carefully pick through them at WF to get ones that weren't going a little limp/scraggley."

                                    I bought a couple of bunches the other day that had some "limp/scraggly" leaves; it couldn't be avoided as all the bunches had some of these types of leaves. Once I chopped them up and sauteed them though, you would never had know they were "limp/scraggly." Unless they are out and out mushy and obviously past their prime, I wouldn't worry too much about those "limp/scraggly" leaves in the future. :)

                                2. re: calliope_nh

                                  Made pesto last night. Was my first time ever using ramps. A blog online suggested that a short cook would mellow the flavor some (and keep you from being a pariah the next day). So, I cleaned the ramps, cooked the bulb/stem a bit in a bunch of olive oil, then tossed in the leaves quickly, then made pest out of them (omit the garlic). I added some lemon. Was delicious!

                                  1. re: DMW

                                    As a ramp lover I have been celebrating them this season in every way possible. I have sauteed, grilled, fried, pickled, dehydrated and made stock from the roots. Waste no part of them.

                                    One of my favorites of the season was the ramp butter,
                                    1lb ramps
                                    1/2 cup white wine
                                    1/2 lb butter
                                    3/4 cup white wine vinegar
                                    1/4 cup lemon juice
                                    kosher salt to taste

                                    thinly slice white bits (keep the greens and roots for other recipes)
                                    combine wine, vinegar, lemon juice on a med heat in a nonreactive saucepan and lower heat and reduce till pan is almost dry. Now add butter a bit at a time and whisking as you go. Season with salt to taste.
                                    I served this with home made tagliatelle, black pepper and Parmesan.

                                    Stock
                                    Boil roots with one onion
                                    Them made asparagus soup with it - how seasonal!

                                    Used my dehydrator in an attempt to preserve a taste of spring (just the green bits)

                                    Pickled the white parts
                                    1st salt bath the ramps
                                    Boil
                                    apple cider vinegar 1qt
                                    mustard seeds 1tsp
                                    celery seeds 1 tsp
                                    kosher salt
                                    sugar 1/2 cup

                                    add ramps for 5 min them place in sterile pickling jar

                                    1. re: whiskey lady

                                      WL: I had some ramp butter this season that was out of this world; whoever made it clearly used the greens as well - the color was wonderful and WILD!