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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes