Let’s celebrate spring with a collection of delicious ramp recipes! I discovered ramps, or wild leeks about a decade ago and look forward to cooking with them every spring. While I enjoyed ramps at restaurants, it wasn’t until seven years ago that a friend I met on Instagram sent me a box of ramps that he had harvested in upstate New York. What an incredible gift that was!
Another year we traveled to New York during spring and I brought back a few pounds of ramps from the Union Square Greenmarket. Since then, I’ve discovered that Specialty Produce and Whole Foods carry them in the spring. From ramp pesto, soup, tart, pizza, to scones and bread, you can’t go wrong with any of these recipes.
What Are Ramps
Ramps are a type of wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) native to the woodlands of North America. They are the first plants to appear in the spring, growing wild in only certain regions along the Appalachian ridge from Georgia to Quebec. In Europe, a similar species is called wild garlic (Allium ursinum) or ramsons.
What Do They Taste Like
Ramps taste like a cross between an onion and a garlic with a distinctive garlic kick. The leaves taste more mild compared to the bulb.
Where to Buy Ramps
Nowadays ramps are much more accessible due to its high demand during spring. Ramp leaves appear from March to April and last until around mid-May to June depending on where you are. You can find them at specialty produce stores, farmers markets, and online.
How to Choose Them
Pick ramps with fresh looking dark green leaves that are not wilted with a long stalk, about 10-12 inches.
How to Store Ramps
For fresh ramps, soak the roots in water for 30 minutes. Wrap the ramps in a paper towel and store them in a lidded container or ziplock bag for up to a week. To make them last longer, you can turn them into pesto and freeze the pesto. Another way I extend the season is to blanch the leaves, shock them in an iced water bath, squeeze out excess water, and store them in a zip lock bag. You can also clean the bulbs of any dirt, air dry them, then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet before storing them in a ziplock bag. Both the leaves and bulbs can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months.
How To Cook With Ramps
Every part of a ramp is edible from the roots, stems, to leaves. Trim off the roots at the end of the bulb and use the rest. Use ramps similar to how you would use scallions, leeks, or garlic. They are used as flavor enhancers and are quite versatile when it comes to cooking and baking.
Wild Garlic Ramp Gnudi
Incredibly light and garlicky, these ramp gnudi taste wonderful with a brown butter sauce, freshly grated Parmesan, and chive blossoms.
Get the ramp gnudi recipe here!
Ramp Olive Oil Tart
This ramp olive oil tart makes the perfect spring lunch with a garlicky, cheesy filling in contrast to an herby crust.
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Parmesan Ramp Wreath Bread
The ramp wreath bread has layers of heady ramp pesto and Parmesan layered between warm, buttery dough.
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These tender and flaky ramps scones are unapologetically garlicky and make an irresistible breakfast served warm from the oven with a generous smear of butter.
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Ramp Fava Bean Soup
This ramp fava bean soup is deeply satisfying with its velvety texture and subtle garlicky note.
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Steamed Razor Clams With Ramps and White Wine
My delicious, one pan wonder of steamed razor clams with ramps and white wine takes less than 15 minutes to cook. Slurp up the flavorful broth with delicate, sweet clam meat.
Get the ramp razor clams recipe!
Grilled Ramp Mussels
These grilled ramps mussels are the perfect spring appetizers. It is a fun way to serve sweet, meaty mussels topped with a crunchy Panko crumb crust.
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Ramp Ricotta Baked Eggs
This ramp ricotta baked eggs dish is easy, versatile and can be thrown together in minutes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
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Ramp and Egg Spring Tart
This ramp fava bean pea and egg spring tart is about all the beautiful, barely cooked spring vegetables and fresh eggs.
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Classic Ramp Pesto
The ramp pesto takes only a handful of ingredients to make and adds a wonderful garlicky kick to your recipes.
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Ramp Hazelnut Pesto
This ramps and hazelnut pesto is quite versatile and can be used in pizza, paired with gnocchi or pasta, and even chicken or fish.
Get the ramp hazelnut pesto recipe!