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  • Writer's pictureChef Kelly Unger

Spring means Ramps and finally fresh veg from the farmers market!!

What's in season locally in April? 

ramps, carrots, spinach, baby bok choy, spring onions, Japanese turnips, radishes, baby kale, kale, collards, pea and sunflower shoots, salad greens, green garlic, asparagus, golden beets, vegetable and flower plant starts

 

Let's talk about Ramps!

Often called wild leeks, ramps are a foraged food and the first harbinger of Spring. They are part of the Onion & Asparagus Botanical Family along with chives, scallions, spring onions, cipollini, garlic, green onions, l'itoa onions, leeks, common onions, shallots and walking onions. Ramps have a flavor that is quite unique but might be described as a cross between onion, garlic and leek. The leaves, stems and bulbs can all be eaten. Oftentimes the white bulbs are pickled or cooked whole in a soup. The stems and leaves should be cut into ribbons (chiffonade as we chef’s call it) and lightly sauteed at the very end of the cooking time of your recipe. Or they can be added raw to top a pizza and cooked with the pizza. The leaves can sometimes be a bit fibrous like leek leaves, but they also don’t hold up to heat for a long time. You can also grill the ramp whole for 2 or 3 minutes and cut it on your plate to flavor every bite of its accompaniments - potatoes, pasta, beef, or chicken. Once you have your ramps home, carefully trim off any roots, wash them, dry them on paper towel and wrap them in the damp towel and store in a plastic bag. Use them within two or three days.

 

Castle Valley Mill will be joining the Doylestown Farmers Market on opening day (April 20th) with their ramps from their property. On occasion Primordia Mushroom Farm (a full time weekly vendor) is able to obtain ramps from a professional Forager. Ramps are very slow growing and harvesting with that in mind is crucial in maintaining a prized ramp location. Sometimes you will see ramps being sold with their roots and other times you'll just see them as leaves. If a patch is overgrown and can handle being thinned, a forager will harvest the bulbs. Otherwise, a patch of ramps will be harvested with just the leaves. You'll likely see both at our market.

 

Farmers Market go-alongs for ramps: eggs, bacon, butter, mushrooms, potatoes, asparagus, spinach, chard, parsley

 

Flavor profiles to try with ramps:

Greek - lemon and feta

French - in a quiche with bacon and Herbs de Provence or tarragon

Italian - in pasta with lemon, asparagus and pancetta or chicken

American - in scrambled eggs or with a grilled steak and mushrooms


Enjoy this short ramp season (3 weeks) and all that our farmers are bringing to the market this month. It's going to be a delicious season! The Doylestown Farmers Market will be open from April 20th to November 16th from 8am to 1pm on South Hamilton Street in Doylestown Boro. See you there!!




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