There are some folks out there who really don't like the culture of ramps. I get it. They're seasonal. They're expensive. They're only available on the East Coast, where they're basically limited to those willing to get up early to beat the crowds at the farmer's market, or the lucky few who have them growing in their backyards. These are all valid reasons to dislike the mythos built up around something that is, in the end, really just another onion.
I myself am not a fan of this mythos. At the same time, I'll admit to the hypocrisy of being one of its biggest contributors.
It all reminds me of my awkward middle school years. I'd say to myself, hey, I think that girl is pretty awesome and, as an outsider, I'm probably the only one who thinks so because I just get her like nobody else does. Maybe she'll think I'm awesome, too! Then I'd realize that everybody thought she was awesome, and she thought I was creepy.
What I'm saying is that if ramps could emote, they'd think my love and desire for them is kinda creepy.
Why can't he just enjoy my mildly grassy, garlicky aroma and sweet onion flavor like normal people do?, they'd ask. Why must he collect photos of me in various savory and unsavory situations and then post them in a slideshow online? Maybe I should take down those Facebook photos before he figures out where I live...
Well, ramps, unfortunately you can't talk and have no real natural defenses (like a quirky smile or cute hair flip) to catch me off guard. You will be consumed again this year. Oh yes, you will.
Here are just 14 of the ways in which it may happen. Click through the slideshow above, or jump straight to a recipe below.
- Ramp Drop Biscuits
- Bacon and Ramp Dumplings
- Girlled Ramps
- Ramp and Chorizo Quesadillas
- Extra-Rampy Ramp Risotto
- Puffy Ramp Frittata
- Asparagus and Ramp Soup with Yogurt
- Orange-glazed Carrots with Ramp Barley and Spinach
- Mapo Dofu (Tofu) with Ramps
- April Bloomfield's Toasts with Ramp Butter and Fried Quail Eggs
- Spring Salad of Asparagus, Ramps, Snap Peas, and Peas, with Poached Egg and Lemon Zest Vinaigrette
- Ramp Gibson
- Fried Eggs with Bacon and Ramps
- Pickled Ramps
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.