Ramps can be hard to find, but if you do, you won't be disappointed. Also known as wild leeks or spring onions, these vegetables taste like a cross between garlic and onions. Their bulbs look like those of a leek or a scallion, their stems are a rhubarb-like purple, and their smooth green leaves resemble longer versions of basil.
Why are ramps so scarce? Their short season lasts just a few months — usually from April through June — and they are only grown in the eastern U.S. and Canada. So, if you see ramps at the farmers' market, snatch them up while you can.
How to choose them
Look for ramps that are firm to the touch and have brightly colored green leaves.
How to use them
Professional chefs LOVE ramps! Chef Mario Batali likes to use them in pasta. Chef Emeril Lagasse adds them to seafood dishes. Chef David Chang pickles them. If following in the footsteps of some of the world's best chefs is too intimidating, try a simple pesto recipe that substitutes ramps for basil.
How to store them
Plan on using your ramps within a few days of buying them. Until then, wrap the root ends in a damp paper towel and place the ramps in an unsealed plastic bag in the fridge. Your best bet for maximum freshness is to store them in the crisper drawer.