Chefs all over the world rejoice when ramps are in season. The truth is that ramps are in season for a very short period of time and signify the beginning of Spring. Ramp season typically only lasts a month or so from early April until May which is part of the reason why they are such a delicacy.
So What is a Ramp?
A ramp is an entity of its own. Some call them wild leeks. Ramps have a thin stalk that looks a bit like a scallion with one or two flat leaves. The flavor is a cross between an onion and garlic. Ramps have a very distinctive flavor that is not found in any commercially harvested vegetable. Ramps are foraged which makes them rare and adds to their delicacy. They are the first green that emerges from the soil after a long winter. Ramps can also be a little costly due to their scarce supply.
How to Prepare Ramps:
Ramps can be used in wide variety of ways. Once the bulb at the end is cut off the entire ramp can be eaten. They are delicious sautéed in butter and eaten with fried eggs or as a side dish with steak or fish. You can also use them in quiche with a little bacon. I have decided to make a caramelized ramp Chimichurri sauce that works well with fish or can be used as a marinade for skirt steak. Grilled swordfish with avocado is perfect with Caramelized Ramp Chimichurri. Make sure you save a little on the side if you are using the Chimichurri as a marinade so you can serve it as a sauce. I love how vibrant and green this Chimichurri is. It just screams spring to me.
Ramps come from the ground and the soil can get caught in them. Run the ramps for several minutes under cold water to remove soil. Then cut off bottom stem and pull back the outer skin and rinse again.
Caramelized Ramp Chimichurri
- food processor
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp fresh oregano leaves
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- 10 ramps washed and cut in thirds
- Cut the bottom off of each ramp and wash well in cool water. Cut into thirds.
- saute ramps in 2 tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Let cool
- add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor and pulse a few times
- while mixer in running slowly add olive oil and blend well
- Use as a marinade or serve as a sauce with grilled fish or meat