What should I do with wild ramps?
May 26, 2010 5:31 PM   Subscribe

What should I do with wild ramps? How should I cook them? Recipes?

Inspired by this question, my local market has wild ramps. I have never cooked with them, and I found something saying "cut them up and sauté in buttter," but that's all I have found.

Other ideas?
posted by hazyspring to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
They're good chopped up and added to scrambled eggs, grate some parmesan on them for an added kick.
posted by ch1x0r at 5:46 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Use them in place of any recipe that calls for sauteed yellow/white onions. We used them in pasta puttanesca the other night - sooo delicious. The leafy parts are great in simple salads, too.
posted by kookaburra at 5:57 PM on May 26, 2010

Seconding ch1x0r: the best scrambled eggs I ever had were made with ramps and vegetable broth.
posted by alms at 6:00 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just had a great dish that included roasted pickled ramps. I'm sure the pickling was a quick refrigerator pickle. Then they were roasted with fingerling potatoes. I imagine that the ramps were only added at the end of the potato roasting.
posted by OmieWise at 6:17 PM on May 26, 2010

There's a lot of ramps-love over at Suzanne McMinn's West Virginia blog, Chickens in the Road. She also talks about how you can plant (the heads, I think?) them to get your own ramps going.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:33 PM on May 26, 2010

Traditional? Fry bacon, fry potatoes and ramps in bacon grease.

Not quite traditional (to the US, at least) and veggie-friendly? Grill them over charcoal until the exteriors are blackended and dip them in romesco sauce, like the Catalunyan calçot.
posted by holgate at 6:41 PM on May 26, 2010

Ooh! I brought 4 bunches of ramps back from DC with me (we do not have them on the West coast [unless someone else knows better -- please tell me if you do!!]) and it was the first time we had had them. By the time I got them home, the greens were wilty and slimy and gross. Sad. But here is what I did with them.

Night #1. Ramp chimichurri! We added more parsley than this called for, since we did not have the ramp greens. Served over t-bone steaks.
Night #2. Ramp pesto! Ground up in the food processor with local hazelnuts, parsley, a tiny bit of basil, and the last couple tablespoons of the chimichurri from the night before (and olive oil of course). Grilled pork chops and homemade spaetzle with the pesto on the spaetzle.
Night #3. Added the rest of the pesto to some homemade goat yogurt, turning it into a sauce for fresh grilled halibut cheek tacos. (Usually I use basil and garlic for this creamy sauce, and a splash of red wine vinegar. It is delicious.)
Night #4. Put the rest of the creamy ramp sauce in a fritatta-esque thing, with potatoes and homemade sausage.
Then I think we took a break.
Then I put the last of the trimmed bulbs on the grill with asparagus until soft, and tossed it with homemade pasta and goat cheese (not homemade) and a bit of lemon juice.

The bulbs I got had the root ends trimmed already, or I would have tried to propagate them and start growing them here. They were really, really delicious (and they go for $25/lb here, imported from Michigan).
posted by librarina at 7:00 PM on May 26, 2010 [3 favorites]

Adding to holgates excellent suggestion, still in 3 or 4 eggs at the end. Truly, having cooked with ramps before, nothing can beat the bacon, potato, ramp, egg combo. Heaven.
posted by Malla at 7:31 PM on May 26, 2010

I didn't know what to do with mine. I cooked them with scrambled eggs and made a sandwich and they were great. However, I suggest you just saute them alongside a grilled piece of meat.
posted by xammerboy at 10:47 PM on May 26, 2010

spanakopita! just substitute the ramps for spinach - so very yummy
posted by jammy at 6:17 AM on May 27, 2010

oh, almost forgot: they're also quite yum if you pickle them
posted by jammy at 6:19 AM on May 27, 2010

I absolutely love them sauteed in olive oil (white parts first, then the green) on wholegrain toast with a thin slice of the best ham you can find on top. It's pretty simple, but especially ideal if you're single and don't want to be eating cold servings of ramp pasta for the rest of the week.
posted by Concordia at 7:26 AM on May 27, 2010

Stick them inside a fish with some butter and ginger and broil it!
posted by Eshkol at 7:27 AM on May 27, 2010

O gawd ramps are so good. I mostly missed the season this year, but we did make it to one ramp festival.

My favorites---grilled till the leaves go limp on open charcoal. mmmmm. (especially if you put them in a burger or something at this point, or just eat plain) Battered and deep fried....mmm.

We got some ramp butter this year, which is basically unsalted sweetcream butter with minced whole ramps and a smidgen of lemon zest, all smooshed up and rolled into a cylinder. So far, I've used it on mashed potatoes (just a dollop on top, and zoooooomg), and steaks. I take a steak off the cast iron or the grill and immediately put 3-4 very thin shaves of the ramp butter on top and let it melt....oh man.

Man, now I'm hungry.
posted by TomMelee at 7:42 AM on May 27, 2010

Simple and easy: toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and then grill.
Serve with other stuff.
posted by Seamus at 9:35 AM on May 27, 2010

I pick a ton each year, and seriously I use them in any way I would use garlic/green onions. In stirfry, scrambled eggs, soup, you name it. They're strong though, and some people find them troublesome if you don't cook them thoroughly.
posted by RedEmma at 1:04 PM on May 27, 2010

Also in Indian food. Yum.
posted by RedEmma at 1:04 PM on May 27, 2010

Ramp Compound Butter. Keep it in your freezer & have some any time you need a bit of spring.
posted by judith at 1:12 PM on May 27, 2010

at the restaurant, we pickle ramps (equal parts ww vinegar, rice vinegar, champagne vinegar; a bit of sugar; a bit more of salt; coriander seeds) and leave 'em in the fridge for a week or so before eating. Goes very well with certain pates.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:04 PM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

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