Friday, June 13, 2008

Dictionary Friday: Ramps


This wild onion grows from Canada to the Carolinas and resembles a SCALLION with broad leaves. Also known as wild leek , ramp has an assertive, garlicky-onion flavor. It can be found — usually only in specialty produce markets — from March to June. Choose those that are firm with bright-colored greenery. Wrap tightly in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to a week. Trim the root ends just before using. Though the flavor of a ramp is slightly stronger than the LEEK, SCALLION or ONION, it can be used — raw or cooked — in many dishes as a substitute for any of those three.

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Last night, Cooper's duck egg appetizer included sauteed ramps. That I insisted were "baby garlic", all the while completely knowing that they were leeks. It was like the word "leek" in my brain transformed to "garlic" coming out of my mouth.

And all I could picture were the big stalks of flowering garlic that everyone carries during the Fete de Sao Joao in Porto, Portugal (which should be taking place either this weekend or next weekend, I think).

Regardless, sauteed ramps = delicious. Full Woodberry Kitchen review forthcoming.

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