Ramps! Ramps! Ramps!
It’s that time of year again…ramps season! The farmer’s market has never looked so appealing. Walls of ramps: little wild leeks that basically haven’t really been commercially farmed yet.
Ramps grow wild by creeks and trickles of running water, so they’re perfect with folks who have soaker hoses that they run fairly regularly.
Talking with Bev Eggleston at the farmer’s market on Sunday, he announced he’d have ramps soon; he normally just sells his incredible pork and other meat products. However, he was saying that a couple of years ago, he had given Cynthia rootstock ramps that he heard she’d planted in her backgarden.
And lo! They are big and full and ready for prime time now.
There are a myriad things you can do with these gems. The recipes are endless, but I cook them like one might put a scallion directly on the grill after a light olive oil and salt/pepper marinade. These are terrific with grilled meats. Garlicky, but great.
I find myself wondering what’s up with all these odd vegetables and suchlike showing up at farmers markets and in the forests around the world these days. In the (Manchester) Guardian, they recently wrote an article on wild garlic. I think that MidAtlantic ramps might be the same thing. In the article, the author Karen Homer says:
“But as welcome as shop-bought offerings of asparagus, young spinach and purple sprouting broccoli are, the real treats don’t come neatly packaged. Right now, anyone fond of a woodland walk has an extra reason to don their wellies: at this time of year wild garlic is prolific.”
Whatever way you look at it, I think that it’s time to take action:
- Strap on your boots
- Forego the $4.50 per tiny little bunch
- Find a bog near you
- Scoop up these little gems and
- Cook those ramps up!
Gentlemen, start your engines!