Ramps....the woods are full of them!

doucanoeApril 18, 2010

It's that time of year again. I could gather buckets of wild ramps every day and still have enough for all of you! LOL

"Wild Leeks" (another name for them) are so delicate and flavorful. We use them in omelets most often, but I have a recipe for Ramp & Buttermilk Biscuits with Cracked Coriander that I want to try this week.

Does anyone else use ramps? What do you make with them?

(Now if I could only find some morels like my neighbor always does...)

Linda

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tmd15

I have a neighbor who is originally from W. Virginia. He introduced me to Ramps years ago and grows them in his yard. Last week, he gave me a bag full of them and I will probably saute them with potatoes. I have used them in in just about any chicken dish that I've made that calls for onions and garlic and I once made a ramp and horseradish cream cheese dip with bacon and bleu cheese. I really enjoy them; just wish the season were longer!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 10:17AM
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annie1992

I haven't been anywhere to find any this year, but I use them in place of leeks in potato soup.

Annie

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 10:53AM
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sheshebop

Until I started posting here, I had never of a ramp. I wouldn't know what one looked like to find them. Wish I was up your way, Linda, so I could try some.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 11:10AM
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doucanoe

C'mon over, Sherry! We'll go "ramp diggin'"! LOL

You probably have them out by you. I'll try to take a photo of them growing so maybe you can identify some on your property.

Linda

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 12:22PM
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claire_de_luna

I've never had ramps but they sound right up my alley. I'm always happy to eat anything in the leek or onion family! Do they grow in the shade? Since I don't know where to find them around here, does anyone know of a source so I could plant some?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 1:57PM
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jude31

Lord have mercy! In a county nearby me, in Cosby, TN, there's a Ramp Festival every year. I've never tasted them, but I've heard so many reports that they literally reek as does whoever eats them. Maybe they're stronger tasting in Tennessee. Most interesting!....Me..I've never tasted them nor had any desire to until now.LOL

jude

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 2:07PM
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claire_de_luna

I wonder if they would be good with fiddlehead ferns? I have plenty of those right now, although I prefer my clumps were a little more established before they were eaten.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 2:10PM
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doucanoe

Claire, they grow in the woods here, and our soil is quite heavy, lots of clay.

I would be happy to send you some seeds later on if you'd like to try planting some. You'll have to remind me to go gather some, tho.

Jude, they are very mild flavored. Maybe they are stronger in the south, I dunno.

Linda

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 3:38PM
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althetrainer

Wow, I have never seen these before. I don't use leeks because they are expensive in the grocery store. If I could get them wild for free, I definitely would try them! :-)

Al

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 3:52PM
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kframe19

Of course the woods are full of ramps. Where else would the little woodland creatures do their death defying aerial tricks?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 3:55PM
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doucanoe

Here are some pix of what they look like growing in the woods.

Al, these are small, about the size of a scallion. But packed with flavor!

I put my foot in the picture so you could get a perspective on the size of the plant.

(Click on the photos to enlarge)

Also, notice the grass growing next to the ramp plant...

And from a distance...

Linda

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 4:04PM
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marys1000

Wow - I'm with Al. Never heard of them but good to know. Wish I owned some woods. Maybe some day!
So...how long does the season last?
Do they flower or bolt or do something that would let you know on later walks where to go next spring?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 4:17PM
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pkramer60

I have heard of them and other here head for the forest preserves to gather them, but I was never positive enough to dig them. I think on the way home I will stop and grab some to try. I did look last year, but was nervous.

Linda, are they usually near water or moist areas?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:43PM
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BeverlyAL

I would really like to try them, just to afraid of picking and eating the wrong thing. No one here eats them that I know of.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 10:00PM
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Rusty

From kframe:
"Of course the woods are full of ramps. Where else would the little woodland creatures do their death defying aerial tricks?"

LOL! Now we know.

Rusty

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:45AM
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lpinkmountain

There are lots of types of wild onions. Not much that is poisonous looks like an onion bulb, so I wouldn't worry too much about eating them if they looked like an onion so unless you just eat whatever weed you pulled up willy nilly, they are an easy food to forage. Plus they smell like onion, it's pretty obvious what they are. I'm not an onion fan, but I have tons in my yard.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:05AM
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arley_gw

Larry Groce, of 'Junk Food Junkie' fame, is the host of 'Mountain Stage'; he also wrote a song several years ago, (The Ramp Song) in which he extols the virtue of those wild onions. Can't find it either on YouTube or anywhere else.

IMHO they're nasty, and are nuisance in a yard--but maybe I've never had them prepared well.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:21AM
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doucanoe

Marys1000, they are one of the first green things to show up in the spring, and if I recall we can usually dig them for about a month and then the foliage dies back.

They do have a fairly non-descript flower that once it fades produces the prettiest little seeds! They look like beebees made of broze or gunmetal.

Most of ours do grow within 100-200 feet of a marshy area, but thee are a few scattered about in the drier soil. But all are in the shade of the woods.

Arley....tell us how you really feel! LOL

Linda

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:44PM
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lakeguy35

I've never had them and not sure if they grow down here or not. I'd give them a try if I had a source. Enjoy Linda!

David

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 8:09PM
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pkramer60

Crap! I just read on a local cooking forum that it is illegal to pick/dig them in the county forest preserves. But they tell me Whole Paycheck has them and Hmart is selling them as "wild garlic".

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:15PM
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doucanoe

Peppi, I'd be interested to know what they sell them for. I read a while back that restaurants will pay top dollar for ramps!

Wild Garlic?....they're way more like an onion than garlic!

Linda

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 9:28PM
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BeverlyAL

We must not have those here. Our wild onions look nothing like that.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:29PM
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