Farmers' Market Report: Ramps

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A good day at the Greenmarket means time with the farmers. After all, they’re the experts.

On this sunny Saturday at Union Square, I spotted a lovely little stack of ramps and behind it was Rick, the farmer from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm.

These ramps grow wild around his farm in Roscoe, New York, Rick explained, on the hilly terrain of the Catskills.

One ramp first-timer wondered how you prepare this mysterious member of the Allium family. Ramps are basically wild onions and, much like garlic, if you roast them, they become sweeter. Or add them, leaves and all, to corn and potatoes with some chilies for a spicy hash to go with your Greenmarket eggs.

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Rick might also wrap the leaves around fish before steaming it. Ramps have been at the market since Easter and will be disappearing soon. If you’re buying them now, be sure to get ones with bright green leaves. Once the leaves start to yellow, ramps are showing their age. Even so, Rick will still be at the market every Saturday. Soon you’ll see strawberries, beans, potatoes, herbs and tomatoes gracing his table. I’m sure he’ll have some good ideas for you then too.

- Heidi