It’s ramp season and that means if you are a dedicated foodie or just a curious cook, you will be over the moon when you bring the little bundles of joy home from the farmer’s market.

Ramps are the quintessential ingredient used by prestigious chefs around the world, coveted by culinary pros, and forged by sustainable farmers. And why all the hype, you ask? Well these pungent bulbs are only found in the Eastern part of Canada and America and have a small window of time before they are unseen until the next spring arrives.

Ramps are often compared to leeks, onions, garlic, and chives yet with a more intense flavor. You can find them at the beginning of the spring season at farmers markets and local grocery stores. The best part of using a ramp is that you can add it to almost any dish that you would normally toss in onions or leeks.

I created the following two recipes to highlight the delicate beauty of the ramp. Plus, they’re breeze to whip up in the kitchen. Impress your dinner guests tonight by sharing some ramp knowledge and try pairing the dishes with a delicate white wine like a Albarino or a Fume Blanc. Happy Eating!

Wild Spring Ramp Crostini w/ Bee Pollen

Ingredients:
2 cups watercress
1 cup ramps, chopped
¼ cup pistachios
½ cup basil, packed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 French baguette, sliced ½ inch thick
2 Tbsp. bee pollen

Directions: In a bowl of a food processor, add the first 7 ingredients through the salt and pepper. Pulse the ingredients until combined (it should be thick). Toast the baguette slices and set aside. When ready to serve, spoon about one tablespoon of the ramp mixture onto the crostini and sprinkle with a little pinch of the bee pollen. Finish with a light drizzle of olive oil.

Ramp and Potato Chowder w/ Garlic Croutons

Ingredients:
2 cups ramps, chopped
1 cup leeks, diced
4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. chicken base or bullion (veggie bullion if Vegan)
Sea salt and pepper
1 can organic coconut milk
1 cup cheddar cheese (or ¼ cup nutritional yeast if Vegan)
1 cup hot water (if needed to thin out soup)
Garlic croutons

Directions: In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-low heat. Add the ramps and leeks and cook for about 5 minutes while stirring. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the garlic powder and stir to combine. Toss in potatoes, stock, and chicken base. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the potatoes through (about 20 minutes). When the potatoes are cooked, use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the soup (I like to leave mine a little chunky). Remove the soup from the heat and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Pour in the coconut milk and stir in the cheese until melted. Serve immediately topped with the garlic croutons and a small drizzle of olive oil.

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