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Ramps season is fleeting, lasting just a few weeks every spring. Also called wild leeks, ramps are boldly flavored when raw and tamed to a gentle savory-sweetness the moment they encounter a heat source. When you’re looking to eat the seasons, ramps are a rewarding place to start. These are our very favorite ramp recipes to help you make the most of ramp season.
Look for ramps at the farmers’ market, in your CSA box, or at Whole Foods and other high-end grocery stores in mid- to late spring.
What are ramps?
Ramps are wild leeks, and they’re one of spring’s first edible greens in several parts of the world, including the northeastern United States. This — and their bright, garlicky, savory flavor — makes them much-celebrated by chefs and home cooks alike.
The photo above show ramp leaves. The one below shows a ramp with the edible bulb still attached, trimmed of inedible roots.
How to cook ramps
You can eat ramps raw (as in pesto), which showcases the depth of their pungent garlicky, shallot-y flavor. You can pickle them, which takes the edge off of the garlicky bite. You can cook them, which mellows them instantly and allows their sweetness to shine. Here’s a list of our very favorite ramp recipes, in which you’ll find all the details.
Our favorite ramp recipes
We’re sharing all of our best ramps recipes to make the most of wild leeks’ fleeting season. We always, always start with a big batch of pesto. We freeze half and eat the rest stirred into pasta, dolloped over eggs, and so much more — sometimes straight from the spoon. After our pesto needs have been satiated, we get more creative.