Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ramps: The Vegetable, Not the Structure

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I recently discovered Ramps, the wild leek of the Northeast that is only available for a brief period of time in the Spring then fades away.  I had never heard of ramps until a couple of weeks ago when the food world started chattering about this crazy elusive veg.  What do they look like? Why so prized?  Well, they look like this:
Courtesty of

And they are so prized because for a few weeks in early to mid-spring these leafy bulbs pop up and are devoured with haste.  The Northeast breaks out in Ramp Fever all because they are to the culinary world what a limited release album is to music collectors.  So naturally I had to find them and try them.  I found them at the Montpelier Farmer's Market and since we were traveling, I only grabbed one bunch, just enough for a taste.  I wish I'd grabbed five bunches!  I used them in a pasta dish I found on which was adapted from a Mario Batali recipe (  I have to say, it was really, really yummy.  The ramp/olive oil/lemon combination make a sort of pesto on the pasta.  I can see why people go crazy snatching up ramps.  The light, garlicky flavor of the white ends in combination with the lush, crunchy body the leafy greens make for a pungent and flavorful addition to any dish.

Please try them if you see them at your local grocery or farmer's market- they are worth it!

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