Suspicion of Ramps

I got out of the car today (I am now a licensed driver, and had just done my first solo set of errands), and was hit by a wave of onion scent. I was frantically carrying in groceries, so I didn’t think much of it, but a little while later it hit me: Ramps!

(Photo from Nosheteria)

It’s ramp season here in the Northeast, and that smell makes me suspect a crop somewhere nearby. I went outside and foraged in all the places that seemed likely, but didn’t find anything, and didn’t smell them again either.

A mystery! Too bad I didn’t find any; we’re having a dinner party tonight and it would have been fun to do a mini starter of backyard-ramps.

3 thoughts on “Suspicion of Ramps”

  1. What is the difference between ramps and scallions? Is it that one is wild, the other domesticated? I love the name : ramps. Sounds very sexy. How would you serve them?
    I thought of you the other night as I cooked the most complicated recipe from ‘Sunday Suppers at Lucques’- the Chorizo -stuffed Leg of Lamb with Romesco potatoes. I was cooking for 2 full days. The end product was delicious, but not as pretty as I wanted. The butcher didn’t butterfly the lamb correctly, which makes me think I should take a course in butchery so I can make sure my meat is top-notch. I mean, considering how much the ingredients cost and how much time you put into cooking a meal like that, you don’t want to risk the meal being thrown off kilter by a lazy butcher!
    You have to try the recipe – it is truly out of control amazing.

  2. Ramps are actually a wild leek cousin–I’ve never cooked them, only had them in restaurants, but I think the simpler the better–probably a sauté so the flavor really stands out. The grill might be interesting though, too. It’s a moot point, because I never found them! (Sad.)

    OH MAN, I’ve read that recipe a couple times (I read cookbooks for fun) and it looks astonishing. I love that she’s so forthright about that one taking forever, expecially since all her recipes take forever and to have one picked out as time-consuming is like… “ok, set aside a week.”

    It’s good to hear that it’s worth it; you always have to wonder a bit. I need to try the grilled pork confit recipe before we leave Hanover–a friend who was working in a restaurant got the 2 pounds of duck fat and we need to use it up before everyone moves.

    Re. butchers, I think it would be so cool to take a class. But your best bet for consistent careful cutting is probably finding an old school butcher shop instead of a good meat department in a grocery store. Where do you buy meat now? When I lived in Brooklyn there was a 100-year-old butcher shop a few blocks away, complete with sawdust on the floor, and you could get ANYTHING from them.

  3. I always get my meat from Whole Foods (or Whole Paycheck, a more appropriate name) because it’s hormone-free, organic, and easy – but this experience and your advice is lighting a fire beneath me to find a good, organic butcher on this side of L.A.
    I love the smell of a butcher shop – isn’t that strange?

    Omigod – I can’t wait to hear about the grilled pork confit! That’ll be a doozy – cooking duck impresses me to no end…

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