It's finally actually spring: ramps are in season. Strolling through Saturday's Greenmarket, we were surprised but elated to see them. This wild member of the lily family (which also includes onions, garlic, and leeks), has such a short growing season that you need to grab them while you can. But it's not just their scarcity that makes them so prized. They have garlic's pungency, paired with the grassiness of tender leaves. Running errands after we left the Greenmarket, the strong garlicky scent wafted out of our bag, calling us to get home to cook them up.
You can substitute them in almost any recipe that calls for scallions or leeks, including soups, casseroles, or simple pasta dishes. We love them sauteed and then tossed with pasta carbonara, or fried up with breakfast potatoes.
If you've got a hankering to try this spring treat, Mountain Sweet Berry farm will have them for $2.50/bunch this Wednesday and Saturday at the Union Square Greenmarket. Grab them up, then come back here; we'll have a tempting ramp recipe on Wednesday. Don't live in NYC? You can substitute leeks, or order ramps from Earthy.com.
At about noon last Saturday there were still several bundles for late-risers, but only rumors remained of spring's other early treat: asparagus.
Yuno's Farm had the first skinny tender asparagus of the season, but they were gone before 9 am. We'll try again this week, as no supermarket stalk could compare to the juicy, sweet flavor of locally-grown.