After a long, cold, desolate winter, April brings us the first spring crop of the season: wild ramps (sometimes called wild leeks).
These pungent beauties are foraged like mushrooms and other forest finds, and add a burst of springy flavor to your soups, pastas, eggs, and veggies. They taste like a combination of leeks and garlic, and that subtle difference from other onions, combined with the relief and hope of new growth and new life they signal in the spring, is what I think makes them so alluring.
Wash them thoroughly and store, wrapped in a paper towel, in an open plastic bag in the fridge. You can sliver the leaves to toss in pasta or on a pizza or quiche. Thinly slice the stalks and toss into any dish that takes garlic or onions.
A little goes a long way, so if you have more ramps than you can use (lucky you!), you can make pesto (below) from the leaves and the delicious microgreens and pea shoots we’ve had in our CSA boxes this spring. Or, if you’re into it, ferment the stalks with this pickling recipe to enjoy all year.