When you’re out this spring gettin’ your land legs back, keep an eye out for the Ramp, or Wild Leek (Allium trioccum). These small wild onions have a strong garlicky odor and flavor. You can munch ‘em raw, sauteĆ© them, add ‘em to a pesto, or make a ramp and wild morel quiche. This stinky veggie is getting some serious street cred at many restaurants these days (in the near shadows of the Morel mushroom). Ramps grow best on hillsides, in sandy, moist soil. Try checking close to the banks of small streams or rivers. The leaf of the ramp is broad, tender and bright green in color, fading to purple near the stalk. Before pulling up and chowing down you can verify it as a wild leek by tearing a leaf in half. You’ll know it’s a ramp by the smell. Holy onions. See ya at the Cosby, TN Ramp Festival?


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One Response to RAMPS

  1. whocares March 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Makes about 2 cups
    * 1 cup white-wine vinegar
    * 1/2 cup sugar
    * 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    * 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
    * 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
    * 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    * Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes
    * 3 sprigs fresh thyme
    * 10 ounces ramps, trimmed and rinsed well

    Stir together vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, red-pepper flakes, thyme, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add ramps; return to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Pickled ramps can be refrigerated in their liquid in an airtight container up to 1 month.

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