Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ramps - Allium Tricoccum (Engl)

Ramps are wild baby leeks that grow only from Canada to the Carolinas. They resemble a scallion, only with broader leaves. Ramps have an robust, garlicky-onion, yet slightly sweet flavor.

This native North American plant, a wild member of the leek and onion family, has long been celebrated as a harbinger of spring in the southern Appalachian region. In more recent years, it has become a big hit at farmers markets in the brief period between winter and the first onslaught of summer crops.

Choose ramps that are firm with bright-colored greenery. Wrap tightly in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up a week. Ramps can be used both raw, cooked or pickled. Trim the root ends just before cooking.

You can use ramps in any recipe that calls for garlic or scallions. The entire plant – bulb, stem and leaves – is edible.

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