Is it Ramp Season yet? April 21 2017

Spring is finally in the air here in New York.  That means the flowers are blooming and spring’s bounty of vegetables is about to arrive at the farmer’s market. At my house, we always are on the lookout for ramp season. It is a short one so if you aren’t quick on your feet those ramps will be gone before you know it.  You may be asking yourself, is a ramp a vegetable or the thing you use when you’re pushing your child in their stroller into a building?

Ramps are part of the onion family but aren’t leeks or shallots.  They look a bit like a scallion but are slightly smaller with one or two long, broad green leaves. They taste stronger than a leek with the addition of a garlicky flavor.  Ramps get a lot of hype because they are one of the first vegetables to poke through after the ground defrosts from the winter.  If you haven’t tasted a ramp yet, keep your eyes peeled for them at your local greenmarket or your favorite restaurant.  Chefs love their delicate and  unique flavor. When I worked at db Bistro Moderne(many years ago) we would pickle 5 gallon buckets of ramps during their season so there would be some on hand year-round.

I’m still making plans for the ramps that will make it to my kitchen this season. Perhaps they will be sautéed with white wine and used as a ‘sauce’ over veal chops. Maybe I will chop them up and add them to a cheese omelet.  To keep it simple I may just pair the ramps with pasta and olive oil. No matter what happens to those ramps , I am sure they are going to be delicious.  I’ll be sure to report back on how my ramps get used. How do you like to cook or eat ramps?

Happy Friday,