Goodies from the Green Market on 4/11/09: Maple Candy, Fingerling Potatoes, Ramps, and Apple Donuts.I went to the Green Market in Union Square last weekend and came across ramps. I had eyed them last year, but wasn't for sure what to do with them. This year I decided I wasn't going to miss my chance. I did a little research to figure out what exactly ramps are. There are couple of posts on The Kitchen blog, as well as recipes on Epicurious and Martha Stewart. Yet nothing sums up what a ramp is as well as The New Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. This book is a thick dictionary describing cooking terms and foods. According to page 560:
"This wild onion grows from Canada to the Carolinas and resembles a scallion with broad leaves. Also known as a wild leek, ramp has an assertive, garlicky-onion flavor. It can be found - usually only in specialty produce markets - from March to July. Choose those that are firm with bright-colored greenery. Wrap tightly in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to a week. Trim the root ends just before using. Though the flavor of a ramp is slightly stronger than the leek, scallion, or onion, it can be used - raw or cooked - in many dishes as a substitute for any of those three."
You can do a lot with ramps if you start thinking about them as an onion, scallion, or leek. You can roast them with potatoes, sprinkle them in miso soup, scatter them in a frittata or toss them in pasta like I did last night.
Here are some recipe suggestions:
Roasted chicken, Ramps, and Potatoes
Scrambled Eggs with Ramps, Morels, and Asparagus
Spaghetti with Ramps