Hi folks. Just wanted to let you know that last weeks wild ramp orders are shipping out on Monday 4/14. We had another great week weather wise, and the wild ramp orders were numerous with several folks buying their second batch of the year. Thank you guys so much. We enjoy digging and shipping these wild ramps to spread what we believe is one of Appalachia’s best culinary secrets.
As I told you in the previous post, the ramps were still quite small. But, after a good week of warmer temperatures and some much needed sunlight, the ramps have sprung up quickly. What you see in the picture is a handful of the ramps that are shipping out on 4/7. We had an excellent ramp harvest today with some of the ramp bottoms being as large as garden onions.
If you were waiting to place your order due to the small size, you are safe to order now. These are some great looking ramps. (Sorry for the horrible picture quality. It was getting dark and I was exhausted.)
To all of you who have already ordered, your orders will be shipped out on Monday 4/7.
It’s time! It’s time!
Ramps Vegetable are now ready for 2014!
We expect to start shipping out the first boxes of ramps the week of March 31st.
Please note that these first week ramps will be the smaller yet stronger variety. They still do not have a large amount of green on them, but it is at this stage they are at their tastiest. The smaller ramps look like this. Some have more green, some have less green, some are just bulbs, but completely edible. This is the size that most locals prefer to eat them.
Spring for some is a crocus peeking through the snow or the sighting of a robin after a long hard winter, while others insist that it is the burst of purple that flowers on the Eastern Redbud tree. But for many natives, the harvest of ramps in West Virginia and the subsequent onslaught of ramp celebrations, festivals, and dinners is the only sure sign that spring has sprung.
Allium tricoccum, wild leek, wild onion, spring tonic, or most commonly, the ramp is a wild plant that grows in the mountains of Appalachia. It resembles a scallion and tastes like a cross between an onion and garlic. More often than not, they are charged with having an offensively pungent smell. “In early April, step out on your porch and point your nose in this direction, and you just might smell them, ” jokes Helvetia resident Betty Biggs.
In my opinion, nothing rivals the thrill of finding deep green colored wild ramps after a long, cold, gray winter. Especially after these West Virginia winters that seem to last for months on end.
I fell in love with ramps years ago when I was a kid and my family ventured around to various ramp festivals across the state, before I even knew where to dig them out of the ground. Not only are they tasty, they are a beautiful plant. Strong but slender with deep green leaves, a beautiful purple stem and seam that runs up the leaves.
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.