In this post I'm sharing 18 ways to cook with ramps, which make their appearance in Spring. Choose from recipes like risotto with ramps to ramp butter, ramp pasta dish, tacos, scrambled eggs, and scones. Whichever you make, you'll discover just how delicious these wild onions are!
I discovered ramps, also known as wild leeks, shortly after I started writing this blog. Skipping down the aisles of the Minneapolis Farmers Market, there seemed to be a hoard of people around what I thought were just spring onions or young garlic. Part of what makes them so special is that they are foraged and wild, which makes their short season a draw. I love using them during spring for a seasonal flare in gluten-free dinners.
What do ramps look like?
Their leaves were shaped much like that of tulips, soft and delicate to the touch.
Their bulb (which grows from the root) was a gorgeous light pink, turning to white as they stretched to the leaves, a natural ombre effect.
And the aromatics…. like sweet, pungent garlic that you just began to sauté in a hot pan, tempting you to bite into one raw.
They have a fresh perfume that lingers when you cut into them, a gentle garlic/onion flavor when softly cooked. And they bring a grassy freshness to any dish, subtly sweeter than their spring onion and leek cousins.
What to look for when buying ramps:
Bright green leaves and no wilting. Lightly wash them with cold water and dry before wrapping them in a slightly moist paper towel and placing in a plastic bag.
How to store ramps to keep them fresh:
Store them in the door of your refrigerator so they don’t get too cold. They’ll last about three days, so if you don’t have to cook them in a meal, use of the condiments below to preserve them.
The return of foods so brightly colored just lifts my spirit, a departure from all the things roasted that we embrace during winter. Laura combines two perennial favorites in this creamy soup, seemingly perfect for a rainy day and the smell of spring hitting the ground.
You can make “rice” out of asparagus by cutting the spears into grain-sized pieces! Combined with caramelized shallots, olive oil and some sheep’s milk cheese, it was a creative, light take on one of my favorite comfort foods. If you can’t find white asparagus, you can make cauliflower rice instead, and proceed with the recipe.
If this is your first time trying ramps and you’re stumped on what to do with them, condiments are always a great option. Imagine the flavors of buttery, garlic chive biscuits and that’s what one swipe of this green beauty will bring.
Fresh yellow corn kernels are sautéed in bacon fat until tender and golden, then tossed with cherry tomatoes, ramps, crisp bacon and chopped parsley. Ramps, a seasonal favorite of mine, have a delicious garlic flavor. The white part is cooked in with the corn, and the greens are chopped up and mixed in at the end.
Few sauces pack the punch of chimichurri, hence why it’s in my fridge most days of the week. I made this ramp version last year and when the last of it was finished, I swore I’d make more next time and freeze it to use throughout the year. Bracing and bright, a little bit spicy, I’ve deemed it liquid gold.
Ramps are nature’s ultimate onion ring. Both the green leaves and the ramp stalks are edible so you can fry the entire thing whole. The beer batter gives a great crust on the outside, texture and crunch.
This gnocchi dish has similar flavors to perogies, especially paired with crispy bacon and loads of sour cream. A generous helping of ramps replaces the traditional onion topping, and a quick sauté of kale brings a little balance to a rich dish.
Fluffy, perfectly cooked rice spiked with the flavor of wild ramps, a versatile side dish! The ramps give white rice a delicious garlicky flavor. Can be made with only ramp leaves or ramp leaves & bulbs.
The best soup of Spring! Easy Morel Mushroom and Ramp Chowder only takes minutes to make but tastes like a gourmet treat with sautéed morel mushrooms and ramps swimming in a creamy parmesan cheese spiked broth.
Scallion pancakes (or rather, ramp pancakes, as this variation should rightfully be called), might just be the most perfect vehicle for showing off the pungent, garlicky bite of fresh ramps, with their crisp golden-speckled outside and flaky multi-layered inside.
The creamy, mild oats are the ideal vessel for the garlicky ramps and salty soy sauce. It satiates every comfort food craving – and remains relatively healthy to boot. Here’s a dish that's gluten-free, vegetarian, whole grain – and delicious!
These are fast, easy, and delicious spring tacos. They really allow the oniony-garlicky flavor of ramps to shine through. For a die-hard ramp lover, that's pure bliss. Look how nice and crispy the bulbs get in less than two minutes.
4ramps,cleaned and finely chopped, both bulbs and stems
zest of one lemon
8cracks black pepper
2tablespoonsfresh lemon juice
1 1/2cupsfull fat sour cream
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Heat the olive oil, ramps, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt, in a small pot over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ramps are lightly bubbling and turning softer. This takes about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the black pepper. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
Combine the sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir in 2/3 of the ramp mixture.
Spoon into a bowl for serving, and top with the remaining ramp mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, ideally, for flavors to marinate.