As we near the end of ramp season, we thought it might be useful to compile a bunch of inspiring recipes so you can get the most out of this fleeting spring vegetable. For those of you who aren’t familiar with ramps, they are essentially a wild leek that can only be harvested by foraging in the woods. Because they can’t be cultivated and their season is only about a month and a half long, they are somewhat hard to come by. This adds to the mystique and sends chefs and foodies scrambling to get their hands on them. They are also the first spring veggie to poke their heads out of the soil so people get a bit excited at the idea of changing up their recipes.
Most of the ramps we see in NoVa are harvested in West Virginia. You can find them at The Organic Butcher of McLean and Whole Foods. Call before you go to make sure they are in stock. Alternatively, farmers markets in the area should have them. Fingers crossed that the Reston Farmers Market will have them when they open in May.
Ramps have a strong, but delightful, garlicky flavor and can be used in most recipes as a substitution for garlic. To extend their season, try pickling ramps and using them all year long. The following recipes are uncomplicated and extremely flavorful. If you happen to miss the season, scallions and garlic will work in these recipes as well. Scapes will also be a perfect subsitution when they come into season.
Ramps and Chorizo Quesadillas (Serious Eats)
Ramp Salad with Lemon Ramp Vinaigrette (Jans Sushi Bar)
Ramps and Fingerling Potatoes Curry (Food52)
Ramp Pesto Spaghetti (Bon Appetit)
Asparagus and Ramp Soup with Yogurt (Serious Eats)
Ricotta Toast with Ramps and Poached Egg (Passion Eats)
Pickled Ramps (Saveur Magazine)
Pimento Cheese with Pickled Ramps (Sean Brock)
Stay tuned for the continuation of our At The Reston Farmers Market series from last year. We can’t wait to see what delicacies pop up next month!