I'm excited to say that I'll be writing a weekly Greenmarket report for Serious Eats: New York! So, what's at the market? Right now it's a shit ton of ramps.
Yes, the ramp hype is way out of hand. No, they wouldn't be this exciting if they were around for more than a few weeks in the beginning of Spring. But this is the case, and so I am going to eat as many ramps as is possible before they're gone forever.
The most straightforward thing to do with ramps is to grill them, and Bittman's recipe for Grilled Scallions does the trick. Just rub some oil on the ramps and throw them on the grill or in a grill pan on the stove and cook until they're just tender. It's hard to really overcook these; I like any member of the onion family to get as charred as possible, and with ramps the green leafy tops get this wonderful crispiness when they hit the grill (or grill pan). A little salt and pepper is all these need. Once grilled, you can eat them as a side dish or put them into any pasta, salad or on top of pizza or really anywhere. I have trouble thinking of a dish that wouldn't receive a boost from the addition of ramps.
But as I mentioned before, my yearly love affair with ramps is a fleeting one. They pop up for maybe a month total, and for the first couple weeks of that period it seems like restaurant chefs are hogging the whole supply. When basil's in season, I make loads of pesto and freeze it. I figured I'd try the same thing with ramps. Now, you can make ramp pesto, but I figured that I'd try something new: Chimichurri, the ramped up variation on the Parsley (or Other Herb) Puree recipe. It's a puree of ramps (usually it would be parsley), olive oil, a bunch of garlic, vinegar or lemon juice (I used lemon juice but both work really well) and some red pepper flakes. Bittman sternly warns you, "do not refrigerate." Oh well, I'm still freezing it. I'll let it come to room temp before I use it, I promise.
Aren't food processors just the best? This stuff can be used as a condiment anywhere, really, but I like it to get cooked just a little bit so the harsh bite of the ramps mellows just a bit. I spooned it on some asparagus and put it under the broiler. Tastes like early spring in the best way possible.