Ramps and Why Chefs Freak Out About Them

By Betchy Crocker

Ramps are a vegetable – not a lame part of your ex bf’s daily skateboarding routine. If you read any number of culinary mags, you’d know that chefs the world over freak the fuck out over ramps since they’re like, the harbinger of spring (and bikini season).

So wtf is a ramp and how can you cook with it? First off, a ramp is basically a cross between garlic, green onions, and leeks. It has a super delicate flavor that apparently makes everything taste better. They’re also called: spring onions, ramson, wild leeks, wood leeks, and wild garlic.

People also have fucking ramp festivals, which is borderline weird. Then again, most of the festivals happen around Appalachia, so I guess that sort of makes sense. Ramps are kind of the first legit green thing that appears in spring – usually April – so I guess if you live through an Appalachian winter year after fucking year, you definitely need to celebrate.

Want to use and cook with these bitches? Salad is obv on the menu. Here’s a recipe from Food52 that we like, made a lot better.


  • 3 strips bacon
  • 8 ramps, bottom white parts only
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons blue cheese

Cook the bacon in a skillet, then remove to a kitchen towel to drain off the fat (even though it’s fucking bacon and this is like scraping the sugar off a Sour Patch Kid: pointless), then, once cool, crumble and set aside.

In the bacon fat that’s still in the skillet, cook the ramps over medium high heat. Cook for a minute or two until they’re browned on all sides. Remove and allow them to cool, then coarsely chop and set aside.

In the large bowl, mix the parsley, arugula, watercress, crumbled bacon, and chopped ramps. Make a dressing by mixing 3 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ cup of olive oil, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, the minced bottom whites of two ramps, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the salad, add the blue cheese, and serve.

You’re springier than that cheerful bumble bee you swatted at this morning.




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