While miner’s lettuce and fresh morels are associated with Spring in the Pacific Northwest, in the Northeast they look forward to the arrival of delicious wild ramps or fiddlehead ferns. If you like the flavor of onions, leeks, and scallions, these are the wild vegetables for you!
Smoky, herby, and oniony, grilled ramps bring tremendous flavor to the table and are one of the best ways to enjoy this wild produce in season. Once grilled, the ramps can be served as a side, incorporated into a saute dish or simply eaten plain.
Preparing Wild Ramps
Wash the ramps under running water, pull off any translucent outer skins that are clinging to the root end. Then trim the roots off.
Grilling the Ramps
Toss the ramps in olive oil to coat along with salt and pepper. Put them on a hot, well oiled grill with the higher heat hitting the stems, lower heat on the leaves (what configuration this ends up being depends on your grill design).
Grill ramps for about 2 minutes a side. The greens can be somewhat charred and the root end should have nice grill marks.
Don’t Have a Grill?
If you don’t have access to a grill, you can also use an oiled cast-iron grill pan or skillet on a kitchen stove. Just turn your stove’s heat up to high and make sure the pan is very hot before adding the ramps.