Today we cover 5 way to cook with ramps which will included tips on how to prepare ramps, how to cook ramps, what these wild onions are, recipes with ramps, and a recipe for ramp butter.
Heyya! Welcome to my newest series, Simple Sundays! I’ve been longing to get back into checking in more than once a week so I’ve decided having a simple recipe or even round-up on Sundays may be my answer. This series won’t run every Sunday but I’m hoping it’ll be a good excuse for me to pop in more often in addition to my extensive weekly posts (that really do take a long time to put together).
This week I’m talking about the my favorite spring produce: ramps! These spring onion gems are known by all sorts of different names: wild ramps, spring ramps, wild onion ramps, onion ramps, and wild leek ramps. For anyone not familiar with ramps, as you can guess by the names, they are a wild onion that taste a bit like a mix between onions and garlic. Their growing season is so short and limited that they’ve gained a cult following as food associated with early spring (and are rather hard to get your hands on since most grocery stores do not carry them). If you live in the Eastern US and some part of the Midwest, check your local farmer’s market in April and May to try and get your hands on a batch so you too can cook with ramps.
Once you’ve acquired your first batch of ramps, you are probably a bit confused on how to prepare them, yeah? Since they can be rather strong tasting, I do recommend cooking (sauteing, blanching, etc) them before adding to your dish. You can use ramps anywhere that you might use spring onions or scallions but let me help you with 5 suggestions for how I like to cook with ramps:
- Make Ramp butter! This may be my favorite way to prepare ramps since it’s so beyond easy and such a great way to fancy up a dish. My favorite way to enjoy ramp butter is on salty baked or smashed potatoes. Ramp butter would also be excellent in savory oatmeal or tossed with fresh pasta. /// RECIPE: See below!
- Throw them into eggs. My first encounter with ramps was a quiche I made in 2014. It’s such a great way to showcase these spring onions without making them the center of attention. /// RECIPE: Loaded Vegetable Spring Quiche.
- Sautéed on toast. If you haven’t noticed a pattern already, the key for me to is to keep the preparation simple to really enjoy the flavor. Sometimes all you need is a little lemon juice and thick sliced bread. /// RECIPE: Simple Sautéed Ramps with White Beans.
- Toss them into a salad! Greens are just starting to pop up again in most areas of the US so why not utilize them in a big spring salad. Just don’t forget to cook the ramps a bit first to tame their flavor. /// RECIPE: Vegetarian Wheatberry Spring Salad
- Throw them into a soup or stew. They work great in place of any recipe that might call for spring onions so find a favorite veggie heavy soup and mix them on in! /// RECIPE: Vegetarian Spring Ramen.
- 4 oz / 1 bunch of ramps (about 5 medium), roots trimmed off and cut into small chunks (green and white parts)
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter , divided
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Salt / Pepper , to taste
Wash the ramps thoroughly. My method for this is chopping them and then placing them in a bowl of cold water and stirring them around. I then scoop them out of the water (after letting the dirt settle to the bottom) and dry them with a clean dish towel.
Heat 1 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium and add ramps. Let saute for about 5 minutes or until completely softened. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Transfer ramps, remaining butter, lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper to a food processor. Process until a green butter has formed (I like to keep a few chunks of ramps in my butter but you can process longer if you'd rather have it creamier). Serve right away or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week.