Allium tricoccum, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, ail des bois (French), or whatever terminologies you use for these green vegetables, they are best known by a 5 letters name “ramps”. Yes. Chefs go ga-ga over them and laud them like jewels on the menus; the busiest corner at the greenmarket nowadays is not the wine-tasting table, but the ramps stall; or blog posts about ramps are prospering like weeds all of a sudden.
Ramps are like the king (or queens) of the vegetable family this time of year, but they are really just a member of the onion family and I personally am not a big fan of this bulb-liked tuber, yet I do love garlic. The arrival of ramps is the first sign of Spring, which is always welcoming after a season of coldness and snowy weather. The people of Appalachia are among the first to celebrate this harvest event along with the medicinal purpose of using ramps for winter ailments. Priced at around $3 a bunch, I don’t think I would be investing multiple of $3s to cure a cold (knock on wood), but it is good to know that ramps are nutritionally valuable as well.
While I was at the greenmarket today, I forked over $3 in exchange for a small bundle of ramps. I am sure I will savor every single bite after I sauteeing them with some of their cousins (garlic), olive oil and salt and pepper. When something is good, just keep it simple and let the natural flavor shine. That is my motto.