If you’re a regular reader of food blogs, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that foodies go absolutely crazy when it comes to ramps. Maybe it has to with their scarcity, as the window to find them in season is quite small, or the cost, which obviously is a little pricey due in part to the aforementioned scarcity.
Or maybe it’s just because they’re pretty frickin’ tasty. For all the cultural reasons that are bandied about ramps and their popularity, taste seems to take the backseat. When you actually eat a ramp, it’s easy to realize why foodies go nuts – they taste like spring onions crossed with garlic but with a substantiveness similar to an onion.
1 pound dry spaghetti or linguini
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces fresh ramps
1-2 tablespoons red chili flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook according to the package instructions, until tender but still al dente.
- Heat olive oil in a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan over medium high heat. Separate ramps by the white root ends and the leafy green top. Add root ends to the pan and sauté until tender.
- Add salt and chili flakes. At the very end, add the greens and sauté until wilted. Drain pasta and add it to the sauté pan. Toss gently to coat the pasta with the sauce.
- Divide pasta evenly among four warmed plates. Drizzle olive oil over top and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
This dish is as simple as it gets: al dente noodles with fresh garlicky ramps, chili for heat, and breadcrumbs for texture. It’s the perfect zing for early spring!
- 2 bunches ramps, cleaned well
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Cleaning ramps is a bit of work, but it’s worth it! Fill a large bowl with cold water, then place your ramps in the water. Swish them around to remove as much dirt as possible, then remove them from the bowl and give them a second rinse under running water to remove any remaining grit. Change the water and do the same with your second bunch of ramps. Place the ramps on a dry paper towel, then top with another paper towel and pat out as much water as possible.
- Clean the ramps by removing the tip of each stalk. Set aside (don’t slice them – they’re perfect as is).
- In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat your butter over medium-high heat. Swirl around until browned and nutty, about 3-4 minutes. Add the ramps to the browned butter and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the ramps are lightly charred and wilted. Serve with your favorite protein as a side, or enjoy them on their own.
Clean your ramps in a big bowl of cold water, then rinse them once more.
Chop off the root ends and set aside until your butter has browned.
When the butter has browned, reduce the heat to medium and cook the ramps, turning every so often, until caramelized and slightly charred.
Credit – http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2014/06/06/caramelized-ramps/
Ramps And Red Potatoes
If you like ramps and you like potatoes (WHO DOESN’T!?), then you’re going to love this simple little recipe. It serves four so you will need to adjust as necessary. And don’t worry about making too much, I think it tastes even better when warmed over the next day.
Iron skillet (ok, this is optional – but ramps do cook better in an iron pan, we think – as least our mommas thought so!)
4 or 5 large red potatoes, diced
1 lb. bacon
2 or 3 bunches of ramps, cleaned and cut up – [if you don’t have any you can always use our ramp seasonings or ramp flakes instead]
6 eggs (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon in skillet. (and NO veggie oil is NOT okay … well use it if you must)
Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
Put cut up potatoes in bacon grease and let fry 3 to 4 minutes.
Add cut up ramps and continue frying until potatoes are well done (15 -20 minutes).
Place previously fried bacon on top of potatoes and ramps; let simmer for about 2 minutes.
If you want to add scrambled eggs, add after potatoes are done and before adding bacon.
Pickled Ramp Bulbs – Asian Style – (Pickled Ramps)
This is a perfect pair-with-beer or pair-with-sake type of little pickle. Just make sure your girlfriend or boyfriend is eating the same thing as you. If you are using whole ramps (bulb and leaves, you can use the entire thing, unless the leaves are old…then in that case just use the bulbs and trim off the leaves)
1 pound ramps bulbs (or whole ramps), trimmed and washed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tablespoon table salt)
1 tablespoon Japanese seven spice (Shichimi Togarashi)
1 1/2 teaspoons Korean crushed red pepper (kochukaru) or other mild crushed chili pepper
1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Briefly blanch the ramp bulbs in salted water. If using entire young ramp (small bulb + leaves) no need to blanch. Drain and set aside.
2. Combine all ingredient except the ramp bulbs in the saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the ramp bulbs to the brine mixture in the pan. Let cool to room temperature and then transfer to a smaller nonreactive container, cover tightly, and place in the refrigerator overnight. You could also can the pickled ramp bulbs.
Adapted from Chow.
One of the most excellent dishes ever is Fried Eggs, Bacon, and Ramps. Seriously, if you have never eaten ramps with bacon and eggs you are truly missing out on something amazing.
1/4 pound slab bacon, cut into 1- by 1/4- by 1/4-inch lardons
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
16 ramps, washed and ends trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 large eggs
Red chili flakes
- Place bacon in a 10-inch nonstick skillet and add water. Bring to a simmer over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until water has evaporated and bacon is well-rendered and crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer bacon to a small bowl, but leave rendered fat in skillet
- Add butter to bacon fat and heat over high heat until foaming has subsided and butter begins to brown. Add ramps and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally until well browned. Season to taste with salt and papper. Transfer ramps to bowl with bacon.
- Crack eggs directly into skillet and fry over medium-high heat until whites are set on top and brown and crisp on the bottom, and yolk is still runny, about 2 minutes. Transfer eggs to a plate, pour any remaining bacon fat and butter from the skillet over them, season to taste with salt, pepper, and chili flakes, and serve with bacon and ramps.
- 4 to 6 slices bacon
- 4 cups chopped ramps (including green)
- 4 to 5 cups diced red potatoes
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, fry bacon until crispy; set bacon aside. Add ramps and potatoes to the skillet; fry on medium-low heat until ramps are tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until flour is absorbed. Stir in chicken broth; simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir in the cream and heat thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4 to 6.