Ramps: Tips and Tricks

Ramps are the Punxsutawney Phil of the culinary world; once they pop out of the ground, you know that spring is right around the corner. They come and go in a flash too, so chefs are known to make a mad dash to incorporate them on their menu as quickly as possible. Ramps have a blisteringly short season, so it’s integral to be well prepared before working with the garlicky beauties. Check out these tips and tricks to ramp up your culinary game.

  • Unlike most produce, ramps are foraged rather than cultivated. This means that they’re often in short supply, so you need to be extra careful when selecting them from your local farmer’s market or supplier. If you’re lucky enough to get first pick, look for ramps with dark green leaves and a strong, garlic-tinged odor.  
  • Place your ramps in an airtight container after wrapping them in a damp paper towel to extend their shelf life. If left in the crisper section of your fridge, you can expect them to last 4-5 days. 
  • Since ramps are foraged, it’s extremely important to throughly clean them before use. If time allows, let them air dry to avoid damaging the leaves. 
  • As you’d expect, ramps are well suited to many different cooking methods. To start, try roasting them in a bit of salt and pepper or throw them on the grill.
    • Pro Tip: Pickle your ramps to use them throughout the year!
  • When cooking with ramps, don’t forget to use the leaves! They have a milder flavor, making them great additions to spring salads or pesto.