Saturday, May 3, 2008

Quick, ramps are here for a week or two!

This is ramp season, so go out and get some! A native of North America, they are wild leeks with a flavor somewhere between onions and garlic.

Let them sit for ten minutes after you chop them. The sulfur-based compounds and the enzymes combine to create thiopropanal sulfoxide, the irritant that makes you cry. It also stabilizes the phytonutrients, the substances that strengthen the immune system, and help you fight many a degenerative disease.

In cooking, you can use them just like you use onions. I love leak soup, which has a delicate, sophisticated flavor that even my kids can appreciate. They are great sauteed with some Hawthorne Valley Farm bacon as a side dish to fish or chicken. Here are some links to my favorite ramp recipes:

Ramp soup
Roasted Chicken with ramps and potatoes
Sauteed ramps with bacon

Wild ramp season is short, so enjoy while they are still around.

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