Friday, May 8, 2009

The Daily Graze: Ramp it Up

Ramps are officially in season and have hit your nearest greenmarket or if you're lucky enough, nearest grocer. A what? A ramp? Ramps are classified as wild leeks, in the onion/garlic can smell them a mile away, they're delicious and they're only in season for a brief but bountiful 6 weeks or so. It's kind of amusing how amped up people get over these harbingers of springtime flavor. I've actually spotted a few festivals across the country dedicated solely to ramps in my web research, but then again, there seems to be a festival for just about everything. Ramps are quite the tasty bunch though. Checkout the WSJ's recent article/review...I love the sub-head: "The real scent of spring isn’t the tulip or the cherry blossom but the stench of fresh ramps."
Here are 5 quick ways to get ramps onto your plate:
1. Ramps & eggs - chop them up (both the green and white parts are edible) and mix them into scrambled eggs an omelet, or a springtime frittata. Instant flavor boost.
2. Ramps & pasta - change up your standard garlic routine and swap in some sauteed ramps and a simple sprinkling of parmesan cheese or pecorino romano and red pepper flakes for a fast, delicious pasta dish. Just this week I had buccatini pasta with ramps and pecorino at L'Artusi in the West Village this week and it was pretty phenomenal. Also check out this recipe for ramp risotto.
3. Ramps on pizza -- Ramps as a pizza topping? Oh yeah. They're so versatile you can really do just about anything with them.
4. Ramps & roasted potatoes - pair some fingerling or baby potatoes with ramps. drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss in some chopped ramps and roast at 425 for about 20-25 minutes.
5. Pickled ramps - sounds kind of odd, but if it's good enough for Tom Colicchio (the head judge of Top Chef and one of my favorite NYC chefs)... Check out his recipe on

What's your favorite way to use ramps?

In good taste,

1 comment:

Virginia said...

Thank you for this! I spotted ramps at my natural market yesterday and wanted to try them out but had no idea what they were/how to use! Now I have lots of yummy options. Yay!