Wild Ramp’s Short Season is Almost Over: Cook ’em NOW

Thirty years ago, ramps, the delectable leeks that grow wild throughout the Appalachian and Catskill mountains, were virtually unknown except to locals of those areas. Since them, chefs across the country have fallen in love with them, spreading the word of their delicousness, and their availability in markets.

Ramps’ season is short, just a few weeks. If you can get hold of a few bunches, here is a reprise are my favorite tried-and-true recommendations for how to cook them, or put them up for winter enjoyment.

Maria Robledo

Maria Robledo

You’ll find How to Clean Ramps, Store Fresh Ramps,  and My Essential Method for Cooking them here. Once cooked, they can be eaten as a vegetable, tossed with linguine, chopped and mixed with mashed potatoes, rice or risotto…and eaten with fried eggs, among other improvisations.

Ellen  Silverman

Ellen Silverman

My favorite super easy way of capturing the flavor of ramps for the winter: Cyd McDowell’s recipe for ramp butter, which you can wrap and freeze, to have the enlivening taste of ramps for months.

Read about the communal ramp suppers that take place all through the Appalachians — and find a fine model for your own ramp supper — here.




2 Responses to Wild Ramp’s Short Season is Almost Over: Cook ’em NOW

  1. Jim Dillon 05.08.2015 at 7:43am #

    Last weekend at a spoon-carving retreat in western North Carolina we had ramp, nettle and watercress frittata. Fantastic! The ramps were much milder than the ones I remember back home in Wisconsin.

  2. Sally 05.12.2015 at 11:37am #

    That frittata sounds GREAT. There are all sorts of greens appearing now, including dandelion, nettle and a new one for me: mugwort. I’ve noticed ramps’ flavor varies greatly depending on where they are dug. The West Virginia ones have a sort of deep fire.

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