Ramping Up For Spring

Warm weather, daffodils and my raging allergies are all indications that spring is finally here. Another sign is that ramps are now appearing at local markets. When I spotted them at Whole Foods last week, I feverishly grabbed up a few handfuls, and while their $20.00 a pound price tag was a bit steep, I knew I couldn't let the season pass by without having a go with them.

Ramps

Ramps, also known as wild leeks, have a mild, sweet onion flavor with a subtle garlicky undertone. They are native to eastern North America and are one of the first spring greens to appear each year. Ramps have a very short season and are only available from mid March through early June.

Because of their sweet, mild flavor, ramps lend themselves to a variety of preparations including pizza toppings, adding them to pastas, grilling them and serving alongside meats, and making them into condiments or sauces, such as pesto.

I decided to use the different parts of my ramps in different ways. I pickled the stems and bulbs and then blanched and chopped the leaves and added them to homemade pasta dough. For the pickles I chose two very different recipes just to see how the ramps would lend themselves to each. The first was a spicy, Asian influenced recipe by Momofuku chef David Chang. This recipe used rice wine vinegar, Korean chili powder and spicy Japanese togarashi seasoning, all of which gave the ramps a nice kick, but did not overpower with acidity or heat. The second recipe was adapted from a Tom Colicchio recipe and incorporated white wine vinegar with spices such as coriander, pink peppercorns, bay leaf and mustard and fennel seeds. The blend of flavors in this brine complemented the sweetness of the ramps beautifully and offered different bursts of flavor depending on which spices were bit into. Both types of pickled ramps were great with grilled steak and burgers and a perfect accompaniment to charcuterie and salumi.

For my pasta dough, I turned to a recipe from Hank Shaw of the blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. This recipe couldn't have been easier to make and unlike some flavored pastas, the delicate oniony flavor of the ramps really came through. Once cooked, I kept the pasta simple so that the ramp flavor would shine, and just tossed it with extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The taste was divine and a really lovely accompaniment to the grilled pork tenderloin that I served it with. I knew it was a real success when the usually picky five year old that I served the pasta to not only told me how much she liked it, but even asked for seconds.

Ramps will only be around for a few more weeks so if you’re interested in giving them a try, you’d better act fast, or you’ll have to wait until next year.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]