In Season: Ramps

Ramps are a true farmers' market treasure. A member of the garlic and onion family, they're only available for a short time in the spring.
Ramps

Ramps

These powerfully pungent alliums are halfway between a leek and garlic, and only appear in the spring, growing in the wild near forest streams at higher altitudes. Foragers hunt them like hillbilly truffles, and restaurants such as Knoxville's J.C. Holdway are experts at harnessing the strong flavors to create delicate dishes that lure rabid ramp fans. In the home kitchen, fry up some Benton's Bacon and then cook sliced potatoes and ramps in the bacon grease for a doubly authentic taste of Appalachia.

Photo by: ttbphoto

ttbphoto

A true sign of spring, this specialty produce can only be found for a limited time.

What, Where & When

A member of the Allium family along with onion and garlic, this wild variety of onion is sometimes referred to as a "wild leek." Looking much like a scallion, a tiny bulb elongates to a skinny stalk with green feathery leaves (all parts are edible).

Lovers of this spring goodie are fans of its fresh onion and garlic flavor. Cooking will mellow out the pungent flavor of a raw ramp.

A serious farmers’ market treasure, ramps are harvested through the spring and early summer– look for them at markets from April through May or early June.

Nutrition Facts

Ramps are low in calories (about 50 per cup) filled with vitamins like A and C. Members of the Allium family are also known for their antioxidant content as well as their ability to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

What To Do With Ramps

Ramps can be enjoyed raw or cooked. They will add an essence of delight to a spring vegetable salad, especially when topped with a sherry vinegar dressing. Whirl into pesto, pickle in a salty brine, or finely chop and sprinkle over risotto or pasta primavera.

Grill or sauté and add to scrambled eggs and pizza, or puree into soup or salad dressing.

Recipes to Try:

Keep Reading

Next Up

What Do I Do with Ramps?

Ramps are a wild member of the onion family; during their fleeting season they are wonderful in all sorts of dishes

In Season: Pumpkins

Pumpkins are an autumn favorite for Americans. In fact, the U.S. is one of the top producers of pumpkins in the world. Here are ways to cook them and ideas for dishes to try.

In Season: Cantaloupe

One cup of diced cantaloupe has 60 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. This seasonal, juicy melon is full of beta-carotene too.

In Season: Blueberries

Blueberries are a definitely healthy powerhouse -- full of vitamin k, vitamin c, the mineral manganese and the mega-antioxidants, anthocyanidins. Here’s are some recipes to show some blueberry love, especially during National Blueberry Month!

In Season: Arugula

This leafy green is part of the cabbage family. Sure you’ve had it in a salad, but there is more to learn about this spicy green and lots more creative ways to prepare it.

In Season: Okra

Though a southern favorite, okra may be a bit more foreign to northerners like me. This little green veggie tastes great raw, stewed or even baked up nice and crispy.

In Season: Lemons

There’s more to this fruit than just lemonade -- learn why these citrus fruits are so good for you, and how to use them everywhere from appetizers to desserts.

In Season: Radishes

Radishes are my favorite veggie. Seriously. Yeah, they're an unusual choice, but I grew up snacking on them raw. Not sure you're a fan? Well, here are my favorite ways to enjoy them raw or cooked.

In Season: Honeydew

Honeydew melon is in season; find out how to choose one, the best ways to eat it, and why it's so good for you.

In Season: Asparagus

Take advantage of asparagus's short season with these easy recipes and learn a little more about its healthy benefits (including, yes, what causes your pee to stink).