Spring = ramps
- May 8th 2012
Ramps are in season right now, they are one of my favorite things. They’re also known as wild leeks, spring onions, wild garlic, wood leeks or ramsons depending on where you live. This is what they look like.
Ramps are not that easy to find and they’re quite expensive as the only way they grow is wild. Trying to cultivate them seems to piss them off, they refuse to grow. They love clay-like soil that is rocky and drains well which makes them difficult to dig up. Whatever, they’re worth it.
Ramps are a little sweet, a little garlicky and a bit oniony, you can eat them raw but they do have quite a bite. My favorite way to prepare them is by drizzling a little olive oil and them throwing them on the grill until they’re shiny with a bit of caramelization. Pick ‘em up by the green end and put the bulb in your mouth. You can eat the entire ramp, the green part is a little more intense than the bulb. They’re also wonderful sauteed with some pasta and olive oil.
Ramps are fantastic nutritionally, they’re loaded with selenium and anti cancer compounds and they’re also anti-inflammatory. Ramps may have even more sulfur than garlic. If you’d like to find out more, here’s an article from the Linus Pauling Institute called ‘The Anticancer Effect of Selenium-enriched Ramps‘ by P.H. Whanger, Ph.D.
Ramps are only around for a few weeks so do your best to get your fill. If you’re an onion or garlic fan you’ll be hooked.
When it comes to cancer prevention, ramps are one of the best things out there, try ‘em, you might love ‘em. Check your farmer’s markets this week, they’re going out of season soon.
Very simply put? Ramps rock, eat loads of them.