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5 Ramp Recipes That Make the Most of Their Super Short Season

These ephemeral wild vegetables are cause for a spring celebration!

ramp onions
Photography by: Johnny Miller

Like asparagus and rhubarb, ramps are heralded as one of the first harbingers of spring, best served when winter’s chill is becoming a memory. Also known as wild leeks, ramps are high in vitamins A and C and boast an intense garlic-onion flavor and pungent, woodsy aroma that we can't get enough of. They have a very brief season -- when they’re gone, they’re gone -- so now is the time to be a little greedy! Here’s everything you need to know, plus our favorite recipes showcasing ramps.

 

In Season

Ramps mostly grow wild, so their season is short. Look for them in your market from late March to mid-May.

 

What to Look For

Picked wild, ramps are then rinsed and shipped to markets; they aren’t hydro-cooled (sprayed before shipping with near-freezing water) like most vegetables, so their shelf life is only a few days. Choose ramps with lustrous, firm bulbs and green, fresh-looking leaves. Avoid any with yellow, limp leaves or dull-looking, discolored bulbs. It’s fine if they’re a little dirty -- they’re wild, after all -- so just rinse the dirt off at home.

 

How to Store

Ramps will stay fresh in your refrigerator for three to four days. Try wrapping them in newsprint -- better yet, seal them in several plastic bags, unless you want everything in your refrigerator to taste like ramps. They can also be chopped, put in an airtight container, and kept in the freezer for up to a year.

 

How to Prep

When you are ready to cook them, clean the ramps well, trim the ends, and strip off the outer layer as you would with a scallion.

 

 

5 Delicious Ways to Eat Ramps

onions knife
Photography by: Johnny Miller

1. Ramp Pesto

A couple bunches of ramps, olive oil, and salt and pepper are all you need to make a sublime sauce for deviled eggs, farinatas, roasted lamb -- you name it.

 

Get the Ramp Pesto Recipe
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2. Creamy Ramp and Barley Soup

Ramps give this light spring soup its beautiful verdant color, not to mention its deep flavor. Pureeing half makes it nice and creamy with just the right amount of texture.

 

Get the Creamy Ramp and Barley Soup Recipe
veggies in a jar

3. Pickled Ramps

The best way to make ramp season last longer? Pickle them! Our flavorful brine calls for white-wine vinegar, fresh thyme, and a host of spices -- coriander, fennel, black peppercorns, and red-pepper flakes.

 

Get the Pickled Ramps Recipe
rabbit dish

4. Pappardelle with Rabbit, Ramps, and Wild Garlic

You can also use chicken in this simple pasta dish, but we say be adventurous -- go for the rabbit! It gets super tender when braised and pairs well with the ramps and wild garlic.

 

Get the Pappardelle with Rabbit, Ramps, and Wild Garlic Recipe
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5. Grilled Ramps with Asparagus

Combine ramps with another early spring ingredient, asparagus, toss with a little olive oil, and give them a quick turn on the grill. The resulting perfectly charred veg are equally delectable hot or at room temperature.

 

Get the Grilled Ramps with Asparagus Recipe

Watch our Kitchen Conundrums expert, Thomas Joseph grill ramps:

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