Ramps!

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Ramps!

Postby Jenise » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:54 pm

Oh my god I bought ramps. I've never had them before. Never seen them on the west coast before but they were at Pike's Place Market yesterday and I couldn't resist. What shall I do with them? Risotto comes to mind....
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:21 pm

Saute one in a bit of butter and taste it, first. Some ramps are quite pungent.

Risotto is good (all that cheese and starch buffers the garlicky zing). Pickle them. Use them in a quiche. Add to vichyssoise. Dip in oil and salt then grill them over charcoal.

I think it misses the point to cut them up and put them in biscuits or whatever.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Alan Wolfe » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:50 pm

Here in WV they are most often fried with potatoes. I would think that any dish that benefits from strong onion & garlic flavors would benefit from the addition of ramps. Please be advised that they are very strongly flavored, and if you use too many the odor will seem to ooze from the pores in your skin for days, making you socially unacceptable in some circles.

I sent a bottle of ramp wine to Rogov some time ago. As I recall he said it was among the worst wines he had ever tasted, and commented on it's lasting effects.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Jenise » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:36 pm

Jeff and Alan,

Coincidentally, while you guys were typing your responses to me, I was actually in the kitchen doing more less everything you said as if I'd known you were going to say it! Lunch was a carrot risotto topped with skillet-seared ramps and white truffle oil. I decided on the pan-sear because it was the one way I could recall seeing them treated on something I saw on TV, but I tested one first to see how I liked it. And I liked it real well but realized what Alan said about how strong they are (that, and the odor in my car after driving them around for a few hours yesterday), even these tiny ones, and held to dividing one of my three bunches so that each serving had about 6 or 7. These are very small, and I think much smaller than I remember the ones on TV being--6-8 inches long, and most about 1/8" in diameter, and just a few verging on 1/4".

Thanks for your advice, it's reassuring.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Alan Wolfe » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:43 pm

From what you describe, Jenise, the size of your ramps is about normal.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Christina Georgina » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:29 pm

Grilled with a nice steak or roast; chiffonade and wilt in butter as a sauce for ricotta gnocchi. If you get a windfall, make pesto and freeze. Unlimited applications for the fresh pesto.
Said to be difficult to cultivate but I have given freshly dug bulbs to 2 different friends and they now have their own patch. They DO take at least 3 years before first harvest and we are very careful when we hunt to take only some of the largest specimens. THe seeds are very tiny but when broadcast in the fall leaf litter they seem to germinate readily.
It has been too cold to hunt but my friends ramps have lifted off so we'll soon be digging.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Howie Hart » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:40 pm

Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Jenise » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:48 pm

Ooh, doesn't that look beautiful? Great idea, thanks.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Howie Hart » Wed May 01, 2013 9:28 am

Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Dale Williams » Fri May 03, 2013 10:29 am

I can take ramps "straight" (grilled or sauteed), but that's a bit much for Betsy. Monday did Scott Conant's ramp risotto, features the ramp flavor but as Jeff says the starch buffers a bit.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Peter May » Fri May 03, 2013 2:16 pm

I saw them growing in profusion along the banks of a canal in Wales last summer but didn't have the wit to take any.

Last month there was an article about them in the newspaper which I tore out to keep to help with identification but I haven't seen any growing since. .

This is the article on the newspaper website. There are cooking suggestions in the comments below
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink ... arlic.html
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Dale Williams » Fri May 03, 2013 5:14 pm

Peter, apparently your allium ursium is a different species from our ramp, Allium tricoccum (I knew I hadn't seen flowering while there are still leaves). Sounds milder from a culinary standpoint
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Frank Deis » Mon May 13, 2013 4:09 pm

I don't think I've ever seen a ramp. I've heard about them for years, and a friend from West Virginia talked enthusiastically about "pulling ramps" every spring.

When I looked them up I was surprised at how much the leaves look like Lily of the Valley, or Trout Lily (Dogtooth Violet) (which is what we sometimes see growing beside woodland streams, mostly in March or early April).

I don't think they make it into the stores here in NJ.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Bill Spohn » Mon May 13, 2013 4:28 pm

Frank Deis wrote:When I looked them up I was surprised at how much the leaves look like Lily of the Valley, or Trout Lily (Dogtooth Violet) (which is what we sometimes see growing beside woodland streams, mostly in March or early April).


Frank, while I grow Dogtooth Violet (Erythronium) I don't recommend it as food, although I don't think it will poison you. Being edible does not = being good.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Frank Deis » Mon May 13, 2013 7:21 pm

Thanks Bill, but I had not assumed that I could eat either the Muguet flower or the Trout Lily.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Dale Williams » Mon May 13, 2013 9:45 pm

Frank Deis wrote:I don't think they make it into the stores here in NJ.


While Betsy bought some in Maine at a Whole Foods when she was up there a couple weeks ago, 95% of the ramps I've bought have been at farmers markets. I would assume NJ markets would also have availability (especially if you have farmers who do other foraging, like for mushrooms or fiddleheads).
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sat May 18, 2013 2:19 am

Just saw some for the first time ever around here. At $33/lb., I passed.

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Re: Ramps!

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon May 20, 2013 3:19 am

My local greenmarket has them at $16/lb.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Dale Williams » Mon May 20, 2013 9:19 am

Our farmers market had them for $3.50 to $5 a bunch depending on purveyor. Rough guess is bunches average 1/3 lb, so $10-15 per lb.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Dale Williams » Tue May 20, 2014 10:31 am

Reviving an old thread. It's ramp season in the NE. I've gotten several bunches at farmer's market recently. A barley risotto was a winner. But the appetizer I made last night was a real winner (I'm not the cook that some of you are, so get excited when I hit a homerun). Betsy was teaching so I was supposed to be in charge of carrying an appetizer for a dinner market, but no time for shopping, so improvised from what we had. Did a duck breast medium rare, sliced. Sliced some king trumpets, marinated them in white balsamic and olive oil, grilled. Served pea shoots topped with shroom and duck, and then drizzled with bacon/ramp/sorrel dressing:
http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/b ... inaigrette
I followed pretty closely, though I did the bacon on stovetop and used some sorrel in place of some of the parsley.

You got some ramp flavor, but mild enough even less adventurous eaters seemed to enjoy.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Jenise » Tue May 20, 2014 12:15 pm

Dale, that sounds like an illustrious combination, and I love the looks of that vinaigrette recipe--sounds amazing for duck in a world where IMO vinaigrettes are under-used as sauces for meats. Especially in summer. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Hoke » Wed May 21, 2014 3:56 pm

Apropos of nothing, but I'm one of those people who just don't get excited over ramps

Heresy for a "foodie", I know, but there it is.

Kinda strange, I suppose, for a guy who loves the allium in almost all ways, and considers the heavenly stinking rose a necessity for good living and is devoted to green onions/scallions and such. But then, I never professed a record for consistency.

Yes, I've had them. Numerous times. They're not terrible. And even can be tasty. Just don't see what all the fuss is about.

You want to give me a nice pungent little bit of greens to spice up the plate and the palate? Hey, just saute some fresh broccoli rabe in a little EVOO, some garlic, and then sprinkle just a touch of red pepper flakes on it. You can then take my portion of ramps and put them on a plate for those who get little frissons of excitement, because the wonder would be lost on me.

And at $33 a pound, they will remain less than wonderful to me.
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Re: Ramps!

Postby Christina Georgina » Wed May 21, 2014 10:20 pm

This is a very good year for ramps in east central Wisconsin. Our usual foraging area had a bumper crop.
After a dinner party of bucatini with bacon and ramps I processed half of the harvest into pesto using walnuts but no cheese and half into a soffrito which I'll freeze and use for risotto or enriching pasta sauces. Ramp pesto freezes much better than basil pesto and keeps a delicate green without oxidizing. Just great on ricotta gnocchi or roasted vegetables or layered between crepes with caviar and tangy sour cream in a torte that is sliced in wedges as an appetizer....what I do with older caviar before the new processing season.
I am not a fan of grilled ramps.
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