Ramps are a springtime tradition, but not everyone knows how to handle this seasonal vegetable. Open the shutters, smell, smell the spring air, and get ready to learn how to cook with ramps!
The fields explode with new growth every spring, none as delicious as ramps. This commonly forged vegetable makes springtime a savory sensation with its irresistible flavor. All you need is to know how to use them! Make your kitchen bloom with flavor with this helpful guide on how to cook with ramps!
What are Ramps?
Ramps are a colorful member of the onion family. They are known for their bright red to purple stalks and large, flat green leaves.
Ramps are a wild species of onion, so they are a favorite of foraging chefs. Many who forage for this vegetable will only use the leaf because it is the most sustainable way to harvest and use the ramps.
They’re in season in the spring, and their flavor is described as similar to shallots, garlic, or scallions, only milder. They are full of savory, spicy, and sweet notes familiar to onion and garlic lovers.
Why Cook with Ramps?
Ramps deliver excellent onion and garlicky flavors without being overpowering. They are a great seasonal vegetable to include in your springtime cooking.
In addition to the great flavor benefits of using seasonal ingredients like ramps, your body stands to benefit from these little green leaves. They are very high in vitamins A and C and have a lot of calcium. Making ramps a healthy way to infuse some great onion flavor into anything you imagine.
How to Store Ramps
Store your fresh ramps in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Place them in a paper bag and then in the crisper to help extend their life. Fresh ramps will last up to 4 days in the fridge.
How to Cook with Ramps
If you have a field of ramps running rampant, you need some great ideas for using them. Take these easy hints on how to cook with ramps to make something fresh from the spring garden!
Salsas and Relishes
Ramps have delicious flavor raw or cooked, so it’s great to take advantage of that by enjoying them raw. Ramps can be diced and used in salsas, relishes, and dips. Add ramps to your favorite pico de gallo recipe instead of the onions, or try tossing them into your favorite guacamole. Any dish you add raw ramps to will be packed with awesome onion flavor.
The onion-y flavor of ramps is perfect for pickled medleys. It adds a lot of savory and spicy flavor to pickles. You can add ramps to your traditional pickle recipes or make quick pickled ramps.
To make quick-pickled ramps, cut the tops of the ramps to the desired size and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Add vinegar and a pinch of sugar and microwave for 30 seconds. Allow the ramps to cool slightly, then use them anywhere you want a bite of acid and onion flavors.
Ramps are a beautiful reminder of the arrival of the spring season. That means you can get outdoors again and grill with delicious ramp flavor. Cooking ramps on the grill is a great way to get some wonderful smoked, charred flavor in addition to the rich layers of garlic and onion flavor in the ramps.
To cook with ramps on the grill, place the ramps directly on a well-oiled grill. Allow them to cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, and then quickly remove them from the grill. Use the grilled ramps as a garnish for succulent grilled steaks or poultry.
Ramp Scrambled Eggs
Eggs and ramps are a fan-favorite combination. If you have access to delicious wild ramps, you know this classic pairing is the perfect way to start your day!
For ramp scrambled eggs, beat the eggs well and finely dice the tops of the ramps. Add them both to a well-greased pan over medium heat. Cook the egg and ramp mixture, stirring often.
Pair the finished ramp eggs with hot coffee, bacon, and toast for the perfect farm-fresh breakfast.
Soups and Stews
If you want to amp up the flavors in your soups and stews, try ramps! Sauteing fresh ramps with the vegetable blend in your favorite homemade soup or stew can bring so much flavor to an old favorite.
Adding ramps to a soup or stew is as easy as sauteing the green option of the ramps with the mirepoix for the dish. This infused the vegetables with an irresistible onion and garlic flavor that carries through to the finished simmering dish.
Are Ramps and Leeks the Same Thing?
Although ramps are sometimes called by the nickname “wild leeks,” they are not leeks at all. Ramps are a member of the allium family, the same genus as the leek; however, they are very different shoots with different textures and flavors.
From the forage to the final plate, cooking with ramps is so much fun. They’re such a unique and overlooked ingredient that it can be hard to know what to do with them. Luckily, this guide has your back in the kitchen as you master all the delicious ways to cook with ramps!
Additional Kitchen Resources
If you loved learning about this seasonal staple, dive deeper into the world of delicious seasonal food with these handy kitchen articles!