Spring Highlights: Ramps

Wild ramps are perhaps the first sign of the bountiful local produce season here in New England.  For those who are unfamiliar, ramps are very similar to scallions but have a leafy green top with purple stalks and more of a garlic spice and scent.  They grow wild throughout damp and wooded areas and usually are around till early summer (they become overgrown and their stalks become tough).  Similar to scallions, they are very versatile to eating the leaves raw in a salad, to grilling, blanching, pureeing, and roasting.  Just when I thought I’d seen every ramp preparation, a new season starts and a few hundred more are discovered.  Last year a few memorable ramp preparations were ramp compound butter (awesome over poached or grilled fish), pickled ramp caviar (served alongside albacore tuna rillettes), grilled squid with ramps and potato ramp soup.  

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