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Sauteed Ramps and Shallots

Posted By sugarlaw On May 5, 2008 @ 7:14 am In food,side dishes | 28 Comments

At the farmer’s market this week, I overheard two girls standing over a pile of ramps, asking each other what they were and what to do with them.  And I didn’t want to butt into their conversation, but I really hope those two girls read this blog, because I humbly suggest that the perfect way to serve ramps this spring is sauteed whole with shallots and olive oil.  

But that didn’t answer their first question — what are ramps?  Since I can’t just refer to them as “yummy things that grow in the earth in springtime” without being a little bit more specific, here goes.

Ramps are tiny, delicate, thin spring onions that are sometimes known as wild leeks.  According to Wikipedia, they’re especially popular in the state of West Virginia and the province of Quebec.  Seriously. (Who writes this stuff?)

But those West Virginians and Canadians are onto something, because they are absolutely delicious. Wild-tasting and incredibly fresh, I could barely photograph them before popping each stalk into my mouth.  I didn’t eavesdrop for too long, but I really hope those girls bought a bundle or two — it doesn’t get any more fresh and seasonal than these.

Sauteed Ramps and Shallots

INGREDIENTS:
2 small bunches of ramps (around 1/2 pound, I think)
2 large shallots, peeled and cut into slices
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium-high heat, with the olive oil, for about 4 minutes, or until oil is almost smoking.  Add shallots to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until caramelized on one side (try not to stir too much).
2. Add ramps to the pan and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until leaves have wilted and cooked down, and stalks are tender.  Remove from heat and serve.

Serves two.


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