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hotMeat

Ramps: The Topic

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Though perhaps a few weeks late (at least here up South Eastern, Ontario), Ramps have emerged and are in (almost) full form.

 

Curious to hear if others cook with this fantastic wild treat - I make vast batches of (pounded; huge difference between zapped in the processor) olive oil, pickled ramps, and this year I want to make a ramp chutney.  Besides mushrooms, one of my favourite things mother nature offers us that cannot be found in grocery stores.

 

 

 

 

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This is the first year I've been able to get them. These were purchased for too much money at a grocery store, but I found a big patch out in the woods that I'm going to harvest from sometime later this week. Even though they were from a grocer, they were still covered in boatloads of dirt and mud at the roots. Took me forever to clean them, but here they are:

 

ramps.jpg

 

On a quest to make it last, I pickled some, made ramp butter, and made a ramp chimichurri for dinner that night.

 

ramp_products.jpg

 

Dinner that night: "Sprung!" 

Lamb with ramp chimichurri and sauteed morels, baby carrots (the purple ones were glazed with balsamic), asparagus, and a 63C yolk.

 

IMG_4070.JPG

 

 


Edited by btbyrd (log)
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Yes, I and others use ramps too. See the below for various links and posts.

https://forums.egullet.org/search/?q=ramps&type=forums_topic&item=145474 

https://forums.egullet.org/search/?q=ramps&type=forums_topic&nodes=3 

 

I was given a lecture by a vendor recently about how he would NEVER sell ramps that still had roots attached, that "sustainable harvesting" meant ONLY that one cut off just the tops of the bulbs w/ the foliage, etc. Strange - in past years I most definitely bought intact ramps from him with roots attached. Ah, no fervor like that of the converted, they say.  I have also talked with other vendors and sellers of ramp-based products (including ramp sauerkraut) - and the last one I talked with (amongst others over the years) agreed with what I had believed - that it was certainly possible to responsibly harvest intact ramps, root-and-all, by judiciously THINNING out clumps of ramps by taking out bulbs/plants from here and there within the clumps, and allowing them, in fact, space to grow new bulbs in subsequent seasons. I would imagine this applies more to large spreading established clumps, rather than small clusters of the plants. He said there were certainly two camps within ramp-gatherers – those of the "thinning-out" persuasion, and those of the ONLY-cut-above-the-bulb persuasion.

 

I picked up some ramps from Goose the Market in Indy last weekend. These were intact ramps. Haven't decided what I'll do with them yet, they're in a paper bag in my veggie crisper drawer.

 

ETA: Pic of the ramps I picked up.

DSCN8924a_600.jpg

 

ETA2: From top-to-bottom of the above ramps is roughly 16 inches.


Edited by huiray (log)

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btbyrd - nice score!  do you treat the ramps at all prior to making the butter?  I have done so both ways and have found that if I do not remove some moisture (I like to chop up and put dry in a hot pan) from them the butter gains moisture content and 'weeps'....curious as to your method.

 

huiray - that is a practice employed by some (see; educated), often when a bounty is to be had.  More now than ever, sadly; people have caught wind and are solely in it for the money and yank entire patches dry.  Nice score, so many uses for these beauties.  A favourite of mine is in a soft scrambled egg.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, TicTac said:

huiray - that is a practice employed by some (see; educated), often when a bounty is to be had.  More now than ever, sadly; people have caught wind and are solely in it for the money and yank entire patches dry.  Nice score, so many uses for these beauties. 

 

Explain, please. What are you referring to? Your statement is extremely vague.

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4 hours ago, btbyrd said:

This is the first year I've been able to get them. These were purchased for too much money at a grocery store, but I found a big patch out in the woods that I'm going to harvest from sometime later this week. Even though they were from a grocer, they were still covered in boatloads of dirt and mud at the roots. Took me forever to clean them, but here they are:

 

You were on a rampage.

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4 hours ago, huiray said:

 

Explain, please. What are you referring to? Your statement is extremely vague.

 

I am not sure which part of my statement requires clarity...where lies the confusion?

 

 

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2 hours ago, TicTac said:

 

I am not sure which part of my statement requires clarity...where lies the confusion?

 

 

Ah, whether you were referring to one harvesting method or either or both or something else.

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14 hours ago, huiray said:

I picked up some ramps from Goose the Market in Indy last weekend. These were intact ramps. Haven't decided what I'll do with them yet, they're in a paper bag in my veggie crisper drawer.

 

I cut up some of them and made ramp fedelini.

Seared Hokkaido scallops.** Ramps sautéed in the pan after dong the scallops, salted, just-cooked wet fedelini tossed in the pan with the ramps. Rapini flowers blanched in oiled hot water, drizzled w/ a little oyster sauce.

DSCN8931a_600.jpg

 

** Also from Goose the Market.

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On a trip to NYC several years ago, I bought a bunch of ramps at the Union Square Green Market. I used half in a dish I cannot even remember and put the other half in a vacant spot in my old garden (I had to move it when nearby trees blocked the sun). Today I have a modest patch that just provides a few each spring. I do remember seeing them in the woods as a child, but didn't know what they were. I have looked for them as an adult, but haven't seen a one in the wild. We are taking a day trip to NYC next month and the USGM is on the list. If there are any ramps to be had, I will get more and plant them all.

HC

IMG_0574.JPG 

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Has anyone had luck growing ramps in US zone 8 climate, specifically the gulf-south region? We can grow a lot here year-round with thoughtful attention to the sunlight and rain.  I have never tried growing, nor do I recall eating ramps.

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1 hour ago, Ji pushii tmge said:

Has anyone had luck growing ramps in US zone 8 climate, specifically the gulf-south region? We can grow a lot here year-round with thoughtful attention to the sunlight and rain.  I have never tried growing, nor do I recall eating ramps.

 

They require special and specific conditions to thrive, including a cold period to break shoot dormancy. It's unlikely they'd do well in the lowlands of the deep south.

Around here, the southern-tier of NY state and northern-tier of PA, in certain 'sweet spots' they grow abundantly, literally blanketing the forest floor in a sea of green.

They're a welcome early sign of spring but largely considered an ubiquitous pedestrian food. A dinner or two, or sometimes a few, satisfies until next year.

 

Cultivating Ramps: Wild Leeks of Appalachia

 

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Great find Chris!

 

I am interested to see how these transplanted ones fare.  If successful, the lady who let me pick on her land will be more than pleased for me to find more bulbs new homes.

 

Oh and you can eat the white,  just dont pull/eat the roots.

 

Lastly, another incarnation of a fantastic ramp instance - 'chutney' - a simple heating of ramps, chilli, good aged sherry vinegar, maple syrup, S&P - reduce.  Served on some chickpea curry. 

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2 hours ago, TicTac said:

Oh and you can eat the white,  just dont pull/eat the roots.

 

So you are a proponent of ONLY cutting above the root disc, and not a supporter of "thinning out" ramps from a large clump?

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It is my preference, huiray, especially as I can enjoy multiple 'sproutings' if I prune mindfully.  In the past I have not been so fortunate to have access to such a bounty (until just these past couple years), perhaps now I can 'thin out' (in fact the lady who owns the land might even prefer and dare I say, embrace it) via transplanting, some of these beauties.

 

 

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On 4/25/2016 at 1:51 PM, TicTac said:

btbyrd - nice score!  do you treat the ramps at all prior to making the butter?  I have done so both ways and have found that if I do not remove some moisture (I like to chop up and put dry in a hot pan) from them the butter gains moisture content and 'weeps'....curious as to your method.

 

Thanks! I just blanched them and put them in a salad spinner to get rid of all the excess surface water. I haven't had any issues with it (yet).

 

On 4/25/2016 at 2:13 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

You were on a rampage.

 

I literally LOL'd at that one. Nice!

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I just ordered some plants on ebay.  Other than planting in a moist deciduous forest, any body have any tips on culture?

 

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Try to look for ramps near you, or ask around to see what other local plants are growing near them.  Try to match where you want to plant them to that same type of plant community. 

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Posted (edited)

Ramps have appeared in my local Wegmans - I believe they were $16.99 a pound.  I didn't notice an origin for them.  They had roots on, but were very clean.  They had very skinny stems and mostly had no, or almost no, bulb at all.  The bulb ends were mostly just a slightly thicker white stem.   I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were still very tasty.  I am wondering if they were skinny because it is early in the season and it has been a cold spring, or if perhaps that is how they are being commercially raised and harvested.  Any thoughts? 

 

On the plus side, because they were clean and had small bulbs, it only cost $1.50 or so for more than enough to make a delicious egg scramble (butter, eggs, ramps, salt, aleppo pepper, and a bit of mild cheese on top).  I had been thinking I might take some from the fledgling patch of ramps in my back yard, but now I won't.  I planted them in 3 areas 2 years ago.  They came up in 2 of those locations last year, but it looks like only one patch came back this year.   They seem healthy so hopefully they will start to thrive in that location.  I am still a long way from being able to sustainably harvest more than a taste though.

 

 


Edited by rustwood (log)
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I'm in the same boat @rustwood My ramps patch is just barely surviving, let alone multiplying.

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Posted (edited)

They ran rampant in the 4 acre woods at the PA property I used to own. xD

Most of the ground was carpeted with them.

I regret selling that place! :(

Colloquially they were almost always referred to as simply 'leeks,' sometimes 'wild leeks.'

If you uttered the word 'ramps,' most folks wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about.

Ham and leek dinners are a popular fundraiser at churches, fire halls, etc. around here.

 

The following was written by Nessmuk AKA George Washington Sears who lived part of his life in the the county where I grew-up, Tioga County, PA—Potter County, PA is the bordering county to the west.

 

"It is probably known to all well informed people that, in the early days of Potter County, Pa., the food of the inhabitants consisted mainly of trout, venison, and leeks. For convenience in digging leeks, a long spur, something like an old-fashioned bayonet, was (or might have been) worn on the heel."

 

Forest Runes, by George Washington Sears, 1887

 

nessmuk-marker-sm.jpg

 

 

 


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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I don't guess ramps grow down this far South; I'd never heard of foraging or eating them, and as I grew up in a community where people were used to foraging, I think I would have.

 

I do see where morels are being harvested apace up in the Ozarks. May have to take a weekend road trip. I have never had a morel.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 12:00 PM, gfweb said:

 

I just ordered some plants on ebay.  Other than planting in a moist deciduous forest, any body have any tips on culture?

 

The first ones I ever got came from eBay as well. Shortly after that transaction, I got a little yellow card telling me there was a package to be picked up at the post office. I took the card to work with me the next day and stopped in on the way home. I handed the nice lady my yellow card and after a brief moment, her overall demeanor changed, as she almost snapped at me, saying "Oh, we  delivered that package!!"

When I got home, I saw that delivery had consisted of someone driving up the driveway and throwing the box onto the middle of the front lawn, a considerable distance from the drive. The box had quite a few "ventilation" holes punched in it and apparently, the folks at the post office did not approve of the effect that had on their work space.

HC


Edited by HungryChris (log)
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