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Ramps: Cooking with the Best Kept Secret

Cover of Ramps: The Cookbook

The Friends School Plant Sale is offering a new vegetable this year:  ramps – a native, wild-foraged cousin of the leek.  (V138 and V139)

Their flavor is garlicky-mellow, their culinary usefulness is broad, and their health benefits are considerable. If you enjoy cooking with local ingredients, consider cultivating ramps. 

These shade-lovers are edible in early spring (leaves and all), so a planting in your shaded yard could expand your harvest season. Carefully dig, clean and trim them, then have a ball caramelizing, grilling, roasting, currying, pureeing, pickling or otherwise preserving the little darlings.
 
A new book, Ramps: Cooking with the Best Kept Secret of the Appalachian Trail, is a charming resource for first-time ramp cooks. 

Two pages from Ramps: The Cookbook, burrito recipe

Every recipe feels accessible. The ingredient lists are straightforward. There's a pleasing diversity of dishes that can be made using ramps (along with a good deal of compelling photos): salad dressings, fish and chicken, various soups, crepes, risotto, biscuits, fritters, jam, dips and much more.

Two pages from Ramps: The Cookbook, recipe for ramp & arugula pesto

Recipes for every day and fancier dishes, too. Plus instructions on freezing and preserving your ramp harvest.

But my favorite feature of the ramp?  Dry eyes in the kitchen.  Ramps don’t make you cry!

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Here's a previous article we wrote about ramps.

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