Ramps, or wild leeks, have gone from little-known foraged fare to one of the most celebrated harbingers of spring. They grow wild throughout the Eastern half of the United States, appearing as early as March or as late as June or July, and are immensely popular for their mild oniony flavor. We love using them in place of spring onions or leeks in recipes, or in simple preparations where they can really shine: grilled whole, sautéed, or pickled.
HOW TO BUY
Choose bright green ramps with intact roots; avoid wilted greens or wet, slimy roots. Extend their short season by buying extra and making pickles, compound butters, pestos, or vinaigrettes.
HOW TO STORE
Wrap the roots in damp paper towels and store ramps in a zip-top plastic bag to avoid contaminating other produce with their onion flavor.
HOW TO PREPARE
To remove grit from leaves, agitate them in a bowl of cold water, remove leaves, and repeat with fresh water if needed. Spin until thoroughly dried, or shake to remove excess water and pat dry.