Recipe: Wild Ramps — Seasonal Spring Fare and a Recipe

May 5, 2013 · 14 comments

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It is approaching the end of the wild ramp season and I was able to procure some from the Union Square Farmer’s Market in NYC this weekend. While I would love to actually forage for some wild ramps, I do not know of any places close to home. As you know, my foraging is usually done in markets and farmer’s markets around town. These babies are delicious whatever you decide to do with them. I’ll show you a simple way to enjoy them!

Ramps, (Allium tricoccum) are also known as wild leeks. They are native to the Appalachian mountain region in eastern North America, but can be found growing in patches in the rich, moist soil of deciduous forests from Canada, to Missouri and Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee.

Wild Ramps are Seasonal and Popular

Ramps are celebrated as the first greens of spring. They were traditionally considered a tonic because they provided necessary vitamins and minerals following the long winter months without fresh fruits and vegetables. Ramps taste like spring onions with a touch of garlic.

Ramps have become so popular, many regions hold ramp festivals when they are ready to be collected. Restaurants and consumers alike use ramps in cooking and the demand is rising  — so much so — vegetable growers are seeking ways to cultivate them to meet that demand.

High in Selenium

Nutritionally speaking, ramps were studied and found to provide cancer inhibiting seleniun when grown in selenium rich medium. The selenium from the ramps had greater bioavailability than selenium from a supplement.

Ramps are also high in vitamin A and C and chromium as well as selenium.

Ramps can be used in the same way you use onion, leeks or scallion — essentially they can be used in all dishes, adding their unique flavor. Here is the simplest way to cook wild ramps — this may be a stand alone side dish or over a starch such as pasta or rice or zucchini pasta if grain-free.

Wild Ramps

Wild Ramps in Salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ingredients

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Clean the wild ramps and cut off the roots
  2. Chop into 2″ pieces including the stems
  3. Heat the pan to medium low and add the oil and ghee
  4. Sautee the ramps for a few minutes until soft
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste
  6. Serve immediately as a stand alone dish or over rice or other starch
  7. If you are grain-free, use the zucchini pasta as a base and toss in the wild ramps

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

 This post is shared at: My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Barnyard Hop, Hearth & Soul Hop, Traditional Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Mommy Club, Gluten Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, Allergy Free Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Gluten Free Friday, Foodie Friday

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diane Balch May 6, 2013 at 9:25 am

I’m going to look for ramps… you are actually pretty lucking to be able to forge in the UNion Square Green market. I have been there and it has a really wonderful selection of produce, cheeses, breads… everything.

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2 Nancy@livininthegreen May 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

This sounds and looks amazing! We recently picked some wild garlic tops and used them in soup – found them on a recent walk. :)

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3 Hayley May 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

We Love ramps and eat so many each spring! I have lots of ramp recipes.

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4 Little Mountain Haven May 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I’ve never heard of ramps before! I will have to look and see if they grow here, I haven’t noticed them yet. I have been slowly adding different wild things to eat the past couple of years.

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5 Dana May 10, 2013 at 7:13 am

I just wrote about ramps, too! We live in bklyn do normally a farmers mkt is our closest foraging :) but we recently acquired a (rentable!) country house where ramps are abundant!
-Dana

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6 Jill May 10, 2013 at 7:32 am

@ Dana,
Nice post! Yep,my foraging is also the farmer’s market. Your property looks great!

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7 Oliver hoger May 14, 2013 at 3:51 am

I jst love it.Thankx for posting like this.I will try this surely.
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8 Eileen May 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm

This is so interesting – now I’ll have my eyes peeled for ramps. I love hearing about produce I didn’t know about. Thanks for posting!

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9 Food Rover May 15, 2013 at 12:28 am

Wild foraging your own with a sturdy hand trowel and your harvest pitched with sustainable sensitivity is a refreshing contactful way to enjoy these elegant earthy pungent Spring ephemerals. Even if you don’t find them, imagine the amazement of your boot heels pausing as a red bellied woodpecker knocks a tree or your stumble onto stream carpeted with silky yellow marsh marigolds.

I just made them with roasted poussins,a take on Melissa Clark’s 2012 New York Times recipe ‘Splayed Roast Chicken With Ramps’
MAY 4, 2012

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10 Jill May 15, 2013 at 8:30 am

@Food Rover,
Sounds really great!

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11 Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) May 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Once again learning something new from you!! :) Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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12 Cindy March 30, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Has anyone tried buying them online. I found some for sale here: http://wildwestvirginiaramps.com/wild-west-virginia-ramps-for-sale/
but was curious if anyone else had good experience with it?

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13 steve May 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

We are currently harvesting and shipping ramps in upstate NY… call or text 315.730.9686

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