You may have heard of the word “ramps” being tossed around lately, especially if you follow any chefs, cooks or foodies on Twitter or Facebook. You may have also heard of ramps being referred to as wild leeks or wild onions.
Ramps are a Springtime delicacy and are only found by foraging (hunting) for them in the wild. This is why as soon as Spring arrives, you hear of people raving about finally being able to cook with ramps.
As you can see in the picture above, a ramp looks very similar to a scallion or green onion. It’s small white bulb has a sweet onion flavor…even a little garlicky to me. The reddish, purplish stems and leaves can all be eaten. But beware, it’s quite pungent — as if you are cooking with a big handful of onions and garlic!
It is very delicious and can be used in substitution to any use for leeks, green onions, onions and garlic. However, because ramps are such a Springtime treat, I would suggest cooking them in a way that showcases their flavors instead of using them in the backdrop like we normally do it’s cousins, the green onion and leek.
I have decided to cook the ramps very simply, with a little olive oil and mild Italian sausage. Topping the Ramp and Sausage Saute on a whole wheat pizza is grand! Or why not over some hot and fluffy rice and a dollop of Sambal chili paste for a little Asian flare?
This recipe is one that is simple and showcases just one of Springtime’s greatest bounties.