By Seth Fera-Schanes
Ramps (also referred to as wild leeks or wild garlic) are available for only a few weeks each Spring. They grow up and down the East coast so if you tell one of your West coast friends about this pungent new weed-like thing you have been munching on they will not know what you are talking about.
Restaurant menus throughout the city will include ramps in their nightly specials. If you are in town and do see these as an item where you are dining, I highly recommend giving them a try.
Ramps are such a versatile plant. They can been grilled, pickled, baked, blended for pesto (I know this is the bit from Forrest Gump but they really are used many different ways) and at least 15 other methods of preparation.
If you see ramps in a local market, most likely New Yorker’s are lining up and grabbing them by the bunch. This city has a tendency to fixate on items that are “in”,”fashionable,” “seasonal” – you get my point. Basically if you tell the nyc crowd there is going to be a speciality-local-wild food available only for 3 weeks a year you can bet good money most of them are jumping on that bandwagon. Myself included….(but again, they are really good.)
I have include pics for some ramp recipes below for your food viewing pleasure.
The next time friends come over, introduce them to ramps with this simple Guacamole recipe:
1 ripe avocado
1 medium tomato
1 wild leek
1/2 fresh lemon
Thoroughly wash ramps and cut off roots. Chop entire ramp (both white and green leafy parts) and set aside. Chop tomato and set aside.
In a bowl add peeled and pitted avocado and gently mash with a fork. Add chopped tomato and ramp. Add squeeze of lemon and salt to taste. Fold all ingredients together and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes