Ramps, considered a spring delicacy to many, are wild onions or wild leeks native to North America. They have long and rather wide, flat green leaves and slender bulbs. The bulbs resemble the bulb of green onions, though the leaves are different. They grow from South Carolina and as far north as Canada, though they are more scarce in Canada.
The word "ramps," or wild garlic, was first mentioned in print (English) in the 1500s, and in American print in 1828. Ramps are stronger than green onions and are often eaten wild. They can be used in any dish calling for green onions, onions, or shallots.
Look for ramps in specialty markets in early spring. You can usually find seasonal ramps at Whole Foods Market, and you might be able to buy fresh ramps online.
This combination of potatoes and bacon with eggs and ramps is a popular preparation.
- 4 cups ramps, cleaned and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons bacon drippings
- 3 to 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 3 large eggs
- Heat bacon drippings in a large heavy skillet; add sliced ramps and potatoes. Fry until tender.
- Break the eggs over the ramps and potatoes and stir to mix well. Fry for about 2 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked on the bottom. Turn and fry on the other side for 2 to 4 minutes longer, or until eggs are cooked through.
- Serve hot with freshly baked biscuits and butter.
Serves 4 to 6.
Tips and Variations
- If you don't have ramps, make this recipe with sliced green onions.
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