Both Robert and I have a background in commercial foodservice, it's where we met. I have not worked in a restaurant for 6 years now, but I love to read food blogs and food-based websites for inspiration, information, recipes, and to hear about trends. Last year I remember reading several articles on how foraging was the new trend, even better than farmer's markets and CSAs. During this time of year, on many websites, the talk is all about ramps (Allium tricoccum). From forager bloggers planting ramps to Rachel Raytwittering to Serious Eats with recipes, ramps have quite a showing every spring. Even we have featured ramps on our blog here, and have a ramps letterbox.
The cold spring has delayed our hunt, but they are starting to peek up at several sites we visit. Robert has been photographing them for 2 years now, but still has to get a photo of the short lived flowers in early summer. The weather looks like it will be wet and warmer this week, so we expect to gear up for gathering this weekend. We will thinly slice most of the greens into a chiffonade, and pack them into plastic containers for the freezer. Robert already infused some ramps leaves in oil. He also loves to make ramps pesto for the freezer, and we will dehydrate some greens for tea and cooking. I love to put the chopped leaves in flaky biscuits, and I ran across a fantastic recipe for Chinese-style scallion pancakes that I am going to make with the chopped stems in place of scallions. I also find they work well in brothy soups, stirred into mashed potatoes, and anywhere you can use onions in a recipe.