Ramps, a delicious seasonal delicacy.
Ramps will soon
be available at your market. A springtime delicacy from Maine to Georgia. Festivals celebrate ramps as a sign of
rebirth as they are one of the first greens to pop up after winter. For now,
they are not grown commercially and they are only around for 2-3 weeks.
Whether you buy
your ramps or harvest them yourself here is how to store them:
- First, rinse them really well; they
have many hiding places for dirt.
- Then, roll these treasures in a paper towel, place in an
unsealed plastic bag, and keep them in the fridge. Make sure the delicate
leaves are covered by the towel and don't bend or crush the plant. Don't be
surprised when your entire refrigerator smells like garlic, it is part of their
charm. They will only keep 3 or 4 days like this, so be sure to buy or harvest
only what you will use.
You can also freeze ramps. There are
- Blanch the ramps by dipping
in boiling water for 15 seconds, then dip in ice water to stop the
cooking. Pat dry and layout on a sheet
tray in a single layer. Put in the freezer. When frozen put the ramps into a
freezer bag or container and then label.
- Make ramp oil or butter.
Blanch the ramps as above. Pat dry and put in a blender or processor with
enough oil or soft butter to make a paste. Put in storage containers or ice
cube trays to freeze, then put in a freezer bag and label.
Berkley University of California (https://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/onions-try-ramps): “there is no reliable nutrition
information for ramps, but their profile is likely similar to that of
scallions, leeks, and other alliums, which are low in calories and provide some
fiber and small amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and iron, along with
flavonoids, sulfur compounds (allicin), and other potentially beneficial
popularity of foraging for ramps expanding every year people are now harvesting
ramps sustainably. They are a slow-growing plant. From seed to harvest size
takes 5-7 years. Here are some tips:
without taking the whole bulb and root. This leaves enough of the plant to come
back next year. Take a sharp knife with you that is long enough to reach just
above the top of the bulb. Replace dirt to cover the bulb and root.
- Some people only harvest the leaves.
- Don’t take all the leaves from one
plant or clump. Take no more than 50%.
- Move around the patch so there are no
There is really
only one look-alike in the woods that might confuse you, lily of the valley.
They are not edible. If you are not sure, rub the leaf between your fingers. If
you smell garlic or onion that is a ramp. Enjoy!
Last updated October 7, 2020