Northeast or Midwest, depending on availability
Ramps (aka wild leeks, wild spring onions, ramson, wild garlic or ail sauvage) are a wild member of the onion family with a delightful flavor evoking both green onions and garlic as well as a pungent garlicky aroma.
Both ramps’ long thin green leaves and purple-white stalks are edible. Delicious sauteed, grilled, pickled, or poached in butter, many people consider ramps to be their favorite wild produce and festivals are held in Appalachia to herald their arrival every year.
We estimate that there are approximately 50-70 ramps per pound.
Wrap wild ramps in several layers of zip-top bags and store them in your refrigerator away from high-fat foods (like butter) that they would otherwise impart unwanted flavor and aroma to.
For long term storage, ramp greens (top leaves) can be pureed with olive oil & frozen for later use.
Alternatively, whole fresh ramps can be chopped and frozen. Their texture and appearance will suffer, but their flavor will be preserved for use in soups, sauces & other purees.
Up to a week fresh, several months frozen.
RECIPES & TIPS
Use ramps, either cooked or raw, as you would a green onion. Though they can be sautéed, blanched, baked or boiled, ramps really excel when grilled, pickled, used in risotto with Parmigiano Reggiano, or poached in beurre fondue. They can also be used in soups (they’re particularly good in lentil soups), sautés, egg dishes, and even guacamole.
Ramp leaves (aka ramp greens) and ramp bottoms can be separated for use in different recipes - use ramp bottoms as you would green onions or scallions. The more delicate greens can be added to dishes near the end of the cooking process or blended into ramp puree for use in soups, risottos, sauces, pasta dishes, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, etc.
Ramps’ mild yet complex flavor can be paired with vegetables like asparagus, carrots, potatoes (particularly sautéed in bacon or duck fat), wild mushrooms, and peas as well as with seafood, particularly salmon and whitefish like halibut, trout and dover sole.
When saucing ramp dishes, hollandaise and homemade vinaigrette are great choices. This "blender hollandaise" recipe (with or without the fresh truffles) makes an easier faux hollandaise. Alternatively, to make true hollandaise, use the method described in our bearnaise sauce recipe, omitting the tarragon, vinegar, cream and shallot, instead adding lemon juice to taste at the end along with a pinch of cayenne pepper.