Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Ramp it Up!

In Season: Ramp Up Your Meal - Newsweek: The Tip Sheet

NewsWeek: May 16 issue - Each spring, onion lovers look forward to the brief appearance of ramps, wild leeks native to the Appalachians and the Great Lakes region. With their broad, flat leaves and white bulbs, ramps resemble scallions but taste like a cross between an onion and garlic. "They fill your head with a distinct, oniony sweetness," says chef Scott Conant of New York City's L'Impero. Home cooks can add them to salads in place of chives or scallions, or saute them and serve as a side dish for everything from fish to glazed short ribs. Conant recommends combining cleaned, chopped ramps with endive, seasoning with "salt, pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper," and sautéing in an oven-safe pan until golden brown. Then bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the dish is caramelized.

Those who live in ramp-rich areas can go to for tips on finding them in the woods. Many specialty stores and gourmet groceries stock them, or you can buy them online at for about $10 a pound. Be warned: ramps have a pungent aroma, so it's best to avoid them on a first date.

—Carrie Sheffield


Also note : Fiddleheads coming on - the weather is improving


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