One of the best ways to know that spring has officially sprung is the arrival of ramp season. Even if you think they’re overrated (some do!), these delicate wild leeks—strongly scented of garlic, with an onion-like flavor—send chefs into a frenzy. Their season is remarkably short and even though they grow abundantly in the wild, they tend to sell out at the greenmarket almost every day, as home chefs and professional chefs alike clamor to buy them.
Imagine my surprise when I came home from work last week and Ryan announced, “There’s a surprise for you in the fridge.” I tentatively opened the fridge door to find the most delicate, perfect bunch of ramps, tied with string. The first ramps of the season, direct from the forager at Ryan’s restaurant.
After quelling my excitement (I did jump up and down, I admit), we made a delicious ramp spaghetti the next day, sautéing the greens and roots in oil and making a sauce with cheese and the reserved pasta cooking water. It was the perfect preparation that didn’t overpower the ramps’ robust flavor.
As if our own ramp dish wasn’t delicious enough, one of the best courses we had during Ryan’s birthday dinner at Recette was a chilled ramp soup, with pickled ramps, chorizo and olive oil. Truly divine.