~ Ode To The Ramps ~
~ aka, Wild Mountain Onion ~
Gregg and I discovered ramps on a trip to North Carolina a few years before we relocated to the mountains back in 1999. If I could, I would cook with these jewels year round. But alas, that is impossible. So I pickled a couple of jars to enjoy in the Fall. I also discovered what an incredible pesto the leafs make!! I threw some ramp leafs in with smoked almonds (the only nut in the house ~ besides me) some of our garlic and parmesan cheese with some olive oil and was completely taken aback by this concoction!!! And it freezes so very well, so we will be able to enjoy the fresh taste of ramps year round. I have thoroughly enjoyed these past few weeks finding unique ways of preparing the ramps as well as the Classics.
The ramp has broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems, and a scallion-like stalk and bulb. Both the white lower leaf stalks and the broad green leaves are edible. Ramps grow in groups strongly rooted just beneath the surface of the soil.
A Ramp is a wild onion that only grows in the higher high elevations usually above 2,800 ft. Ramps start sprouting in the mountain forests during March and April. Their bulbs resemble a scallion, and they have wide flat leaves with purple streaks. There flavor is very unique and is a pleasure to prepare many different ways. It can be compared to a leek, scallion, garlic, or a combo of all three. But I am here to say that it is not like those listed above, but a truly different and wonderful flavor to experience, cooking with Ramps can equal living in the culinary moment!!
All of the dishes in my slide show have Ramps infused in them; whether the focus of the dish, a side dish, or a wonderful boost to any these dishes, the Ramps are a flavor to savor ......... Enjoy!!
And Long Life the Ramps!!