PHOTO: Nini Ordoubadi/Tay Tea
Ramp season is officially upon us. As the super garlicky wild onions start hitting farmers markets and popping up in foraging spots, you’ve likely been tempted to pick up a bundle or two to see what all the ramp obsession is about.
Once you’ve successfully secured your ramps for the season, you’ll also find that social media is a great outlet for coming across inventive ideas on how to use your ramps — as these four creative takes on incorporating ramps into your own cooking and drinking adventures showcase.
1. Ramp Salt
Putting together a batch of ramp salt is a great way to extend the shelf life of your bounty of ramps. It’s also a remarkably fuss-free process:
1. Wash and thoroughly dry a batch of ramp leaves.
2. Line up the ramps on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap too much, and place in the oven set to the lowest possible temperature.
3. Check after about 30 minutes and pull the ramps out once they start to become brittle and crisp.
4. At this point, you can blitz the ramps in a blender or use a pestle and mortar, then mix the ramps up with salt.
5. Store your ramp salt in an air-tight container and resist the urge to go through it all in the very first month.
Pro tip: If you want to get even fancier with your ramp salt, take a cue from artisan tea blender Nini Ordoubadi, who adds dried organic rose petals to her blend (pictured above).
Here’s everything you need to know to get started with sourdough.
2. Sourdough Focaccia with Ramps
Ramps and breads are a natural match, with the garlic kick really amping up and enhancing savory loaves.
Elizabeth Tulis, a baker and pastry expert based in Washington, DC, recommends layering whole ramp leaves into a sourdough focaccia. Then, add some porcini mushrooms to bring out the umami goodness even further.
The ramp leaves also add an extra stylish look to your focaccia breads.
3. Ramp Tortillas
It’s common to spot social media photos of grilled and charred ramps being added to tacos as a topping. But DC-based, sustainable-focused chef Rob Rubba goes a step further by fusing the garlicky greens in with his tortillas.
After mixing up masa harina (a maize-based flour) and water, try experimenting with adding raw, very quickly blanched or even grilled ramp leaves to the dough before pressing as usual and cooking in a dry skillet.
Pickling some ramp bulbs also adds a zesty complimentary tang to your taco toppings of choice.
Learn how you can grow your own ramps!
4. Vodka Ramps
Fancy bringing ramps into your home cocktail repertoire? Take inspiration from Melissa Finn, a cocktail guide and forager, who has used them as part of an eye-catching vodka infusion.
Simply place some ramp leaves into a bottle or jar of vodka, then wait a week or so before straining and enjoying. The resulting tipple will add some zing to a Bloody Mary.