Ramps or Allium Tricoccum (also called wild leeks) are one of the first harbingers of spring and one of the most delicious wild edible greens you can forage for. They are native to Eastern North America and you can forage for them about six weeks. They grow in forested areas and have flavors of garlic, scallions, and leeks. Eat up while you can because the growing season is short.
Often times if you see them at your local farmer’s market they are $20 a pound or $5 for a small bunch. Yikes! If you make sure to harvest them sustainably then foraging for them is the best route to go. I am thrilled to have a local spot I know where they grow in abundance. When the first warmer days of spring arise start walking in the woods and take a look. Oh and look for morel mushrooms too, they starting popping around the same time.
They almost look like tulip leaves but far more delicate and they usually only have two leaves. The stems are redish and they appear to have a bulb at the end, like onions. You also get a strong garlic smell from them. Once you have harvested them, rinse them, and remove the membrane which covers the stem and bulb. You can chop them up or cook them as is. They can be stored in the fridge by wrapping them loosely in a wet towel.
Cooking them is easy as well…
- saute them with bacon
- chop them and scramble them with eggs
- make potato/ramp soup
- also asparagus/ramp soup
- roast along with asparagus
- make a ramp risotto
- pickle them
- make ramp pesto
- make a goat cheese tart with ramps
- put them in a quiche
- saute and eat with ricotta and crusty bread
- make a ramp aioli
- make ramp butter
Get out and forage for these delicious first greens and savor the garlicky sweetness. It truly will make you happy that spring is finally here.