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Easy Sauteed Ramps

Easy Sauteed Ramps

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In a medium to large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ramps and cook, stirring occasionally until the leaves are wilted and the white parts are translucent and slightly golden. Salt lightly with sea salt.


Guide to Ramps

Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.

Have you ever heard of ramps? Probably not, if like me, you live west of Minnesota. Those of you Easterners are likely well familiar with them. Also known as wild leeks or ramsons, ramps are one of the first delicacies of spring. They grow in the woodlands east of the Great Plains -- and often in huge swaths.

Ramps are gathered by professional foragers each spring and make their way to any number of local food festivals. These days ramps are trendy you can find them on white-linen menus from New York to San Francisco.

My friend Hank brought some ramps over for us to play with the other day as a Jersey boy, he is well acquainted with them. According to Hank, you use ramps like green onions or young spring garlic. Ramps taste a lot like green garlic, though more subtle in their garlicky flavor.

They can be eaten raw, but are best sautéed, roasted, grilled, pickled or made into pesto. The spearpoint-shaped upper leaves, unusually wide for a member of the onion family, are tender and are often separated from the stouter stalk and miniature bulb.

Have a favorite ramp recipe? Please let us know about it in the comments. Also check out these great ramp recipes from fellow food bloggers:

    , Ramp and Parsley Pesto, and Ramp Pasta from Hank of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook from No Recipes from Eggs on Sunday From Dog Hill Kitchen

If you live West of Minnesota and want to try ramps, the only way to get them is to have them shipped in. They are available online from late March through the spring. You can order them at Earthy Delights.


How to Cook with Them

From their small white bulb that resembles a spring onion to their large green leaves, every part of a ramp is edible (just trim off the roots at the end of the bulb). Slice ramps thin like garlic or shallots and sauté them for a springtime pasta dish, a breakfast omelet, or rich pan sauce. Or use an entire bunch of ramps in our Universal Pesto Recipe. You could also make a savory compound butter or pickled ramps, both of which will preserve their flavor well beyond April showers and May flowers.


Cooking the wild ramps is a key step in this recipe. The wild ramps need to soften a bit before you blitz them up in the butter, otherwise the texture and flavor won’t be right.

I used unsalted butter in this ramps recipe, but you’re welcome to use salted if that’s all you have on hand. Just keep in mind that using salted butter means you won’t need to add any additional salt!

Ramp butter can be enjoyed atop potatoes, toast, savory oatmeal, pasta, bagels, and more!


Cook bacon in a large frying pan, remove, drain, and crumble set aside. Using the same pan with the reserved bacon fat, fry ramps over medium heat for about 5 minutes or till tender. Divide leafy greens onto salad plates and spoon hot ramps with bacon liquid immediately onto the leaves to wilt them slightly. Toss gently add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and crumble bacon on top. Serves 4 as side salads or 2 as a meal with your favorite bread. (For a vegetarian alternative, omit bacon and use olive oil.)

Submitted by: suzanne-mcminn on April 5, 2011

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Ingredients

Soak the ramps to loosen the soil clinging to the roots (if they are really muddy, I do this outside in a bucket, first).

Rinse several times until the water is clear.

Cut off the root ends like you would do with green onions.

Parboil the ramps in water for 15 minutes or so until the bulbs are tender.

While the ramps parboil, fry up some bacon (ends and pieces work well).

Drain away most of the bacon grease from the pan, leaving a few spoonfuls behind with the bacon pieces. Drain the ramps well. Add the drained ramps to the pan with the bacon and saute’ the ramps until they are as tender as you like. The moisture from the ramps will loosen all the yummy bits from the bacon pan. Oh my.

Serve as you would any greens – I love to drizzle apple cider vinegar over mine.

Submitted by: wvhomecanner on April 17, 2011

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  • I tried to open my document for Cappuccino Marshmallows. I made them last year for a Xmas. Eve Party and several guests asked me for the recipe. They were fab. .
    Bonny on Marshmallows
  • I have that exact same pasta maker! It's marvelous! I love that you can adjust the thickness by turning a couple of knobs. Enjoy!
    fowlplayfun on My New Italian Kitchen
  • Faith, what a lovely tribute to your Dad! I decided to read your post because of the title, and the immediate recollection of my own Dad's 'favorite Thanksgiving Sandwich', which, .
    fieldfare on My Dad's Thanksgiving Sandwich
  • On so many levels, I consider this to be an absolutely wonderful post, and one that is so certain to influence my own Work, I know I will be mentioning .
    fieldfare on Quick, Easy Lunch for Company
  • I wrote the following in a note to Suzanne about this reference to the old, out-of-print book, when I was having difficulty signing up for this site, earlier today. Since .
    fieldfare on Cheesemaking Without Benefit of Mail Order
  • I had no idea that BBQ Rub was local. Not sure how old this thread is, but I just bought some of those pork steaks from the IGA here in .
    DaftHarlot on BBQ Rub
  • I have made this recipe quite a few times. I use whatever wine I have and it is good with any of it. I have even used dried mushrooms chopped .
    femforrest on Dede's Golden Mushroom Soup
  • Hi from a Welsh lass living in Bulgaria. I've been canning for years but I seem to be having a problem with this one. I'm probably being extremely stupid! You .
    jobo123 on Canned Coleslaw?!
  • I have a question. The instructions say to bring to a boil. Do I need to add any water to the pot or just use what liquid there is from .
    Cheryle on Condensed Tomato Soup for Canning
  • And for some reason I didn't see the responses above which give ideas. Thanks for those!!
    Cassie on Recipes Using Kefir
  • I recently started making kefir because I was told that it is good for dogs who are sick. I have my uncle's dog (uncle passed away)and he is skinny and .
    Cassie on Recipes Using Kefir

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Copyright © 2004-2021 Suzanne McMinn &bull Design by Swank Web Design &bull Powered by WordPress


Ramp and Mushroom Sauté

You can serve this mix on its own as a light spring supper, as an accompaniment to grilled meat or fish, as a side dish for a fluffy omelet or on top of a bed of farro or couscous. I used golden oyster mushrooms, but any variety will work here. If you’re so lucky as to procure morels, that would make for the ultimate foraged spring dish.


What are Fiddlehead Ferns?

Fiddleheads come from the Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) known locally as the fiddlehead fern throughout New England and parts of Canada. They grow wild like dandelions and mainly in wet areas near brooks, rivers and lakes during late April, May and early June, dependent on when the snow has melted.

When purchasing fiddlehead ferns, look for tightly coiled and bright green ferns. Avoid ones that have a dark colored center as this indicates them being older.


Ramp and Wild Greens Pesto

Fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz makes this punchy pesto to capture the essence of spring. Chickweed, a spicy herb, is his green of choice to pair with ramps, to which he adds mild herbs and sunflower seeds, but you can replace chickweed with watercress, arugula, or any other peppery green. The same goes for the ramps—this pesto works just as well with spring onions or garlic. It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, and Katz uses it throughout the day: on grits or eggs for breakfast, slathered on sandwiches for lunch, and tossed with potatoes or pasta for dinner. Get the recipe for Ramp and Wild Greens Pesto » Matt Taylor-Gross

Caramelized Ramps

If you hurry, you can still pick up a bunch of ramps or two before it’s too hot for them to poke through the ground. Everyone loses their minds around ramp season, and I feel like it gets started earlier and earlier each year. I will admit, I do love them. They’re tiny, delicate leeks that have the most beautiful, earthy green leaves. Unlike a regular leek, you can eat the whole thing, so they’re perfect for preparing simply, without much fuss. The best way to eat them, in my opinion, is with over-easy eggs so that you can swirl the ramps around in the runny yolks. A creamy egg is an excellent match for each oniony, garlicky bite of caramelized ramps. Don’t get me wrong – they’re not overly pungent. They’re just right, in my opinion. The leaves, as previously mentioned, are especially good, because they cook down and wilt almost like basil does, but they have a much more prominent flavor that I adore. The only annoying thing about ramps is cleaning them. It takes a little bit of effort. Not too much, but definitely more than I put into cleaning over vegetables. You have to fill a big bowl with cold water, dunk them in there, swish them around, then pull them out and either dunk them again in a new bowl of clean water or rinse them under the faucet before patting them dry. After that, you’ve got to chop off the hairy bit at the end and pull off any extra skins or strings before you can cook with them. If you’ve got an extra 10 minutes to spare, though, I promise you’ll find it’s no trouble at all to take an extra step or two if at the end of it all you get these caramelized ramps in a rich browned butter sauce. Believe me, you’ll have a hard time not picking them out of the pan with your fingers and eating them all while standing in the kitchen.

Sarah’s cat, Lily, me laughing at something forgettable, sandwich from The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop, and drinks at Featherweight.

Last night, I went out with my friend Emily to a play. I rarely ever go, because I always want to see plays that are prohibitively expensive. Emily is smarter than me, though, and doesn’t only look at Broadway shows when seeking out her weekly dose of culture. Doubly, she doesn’t only look to downtown or Brooklyn for plays, which is to say that I completely avoid the upper East and West sides, because they are far away and scary to me. I love to steal Roger Sterling’s line by saying that “I get a nosebleed above 60th,” but every once in a while I do find myself up there. Last night, we started off with dinner and drinks at Jacob’s Pickles, which was awesome. They pickle everything there and for $11, we got more pickled vegetables than anyone would ever be able to eat. There were beets, carrots, green beans and some good old fashioned dill pickles. I also sipped on a bourbon cocktail made with muddled citrus, to prepare myself for the arts, of course. After that, we were of course running a bit behind, so we power walked (I’m too cool to run) over to the theater to see American Hero, which was both very funny and incredibly sad. I need to make an effort to go see more stuff like this in the city – there’s so much of it and I’m not taking advantage of any of it!

This weekend is shaping up to be glorious and I can’t wait. The sun is out this morning, it’s a little breezy and in the 70s, and I’m ready, world! Tonight I’m getting a cocktail with a friend, then dinner with more friends, followed by a (planned) early night before hitting Rockaway Beach again tomorrow with the usual motley crew in tow. If we have the energy after the beach, we’ll go see O’Death at The Wick. That’s a big if, I imagine, but you never know. On Sunday, we’re doing maybe one of the most awesome things ever: seeing Jurassic Park for brunch at Nitehawk. I’m beyond excited. I remember my dad took my brother and me to see it when it originally came out over 20 (!) years ago, so it’ll be great to see it on the big screen again. If you live in Brooklyn or the surrounding area, you should definitely come check it out, too!


Clean your ramps in a big bowl of cold water, then rinse them once more.

Chop off the hairy ends and set aside until your butter has browned.

When the butter has browned, reduce the heat to medium and cook the ramps, turning every so often, until caramelized and slightly charred.

Nomz, indeed.


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