Writing wild ramps, as people are inclined to do, is redundant because that's what ramps are: wild. Wild leeks, to be specific. But they're so much smaller and... hmmm, I think astringent might be the word I'm looking for?, than leeks that it can be difficult to mentally associate them with leeks. I first encountered ramps when I helped to harvest them about 20 years ago in North Carolina. I've been waiting impatiently ever since for them to become more easily available elsewhere.
And my spring (ramps) are finally here!
I snatched some up this week from Liberty Heights Fresh. For a wild, unique, brief veg like ramps, I believe they are best appreciated when prepared simply, with few ingredients. So I also picked up my favourite local, kind eggs (from Clifford Family Farms) and made simple scrambled eggs with ramps.
Soft & Simple Scrambled Eggs with Ramps
5 large organic eggs
about a tablespoon of whole cream
a bit of butter for the pan
a handful of ramps
ground white pepper
ground cayenne pepper
Whisk the eggs with the cream. Season with table salt. Lop the roots off the ramps and then finely slice them until you get to the leafy parts.
Melt the butter in a large skillet on low heat. Keep it on low heat. Add the ramps and gently sauté until the ramps are fragrant and melty and buttery. Add the eggs and keep it on low heat. It can be so tempting when you smell the ramps and it's Saturday morning so you're starving and want to eat now. But scrambled eggs are so much better if you cook them on low heat, slowly, without browning them or even really allowing the whites to whiten.
Hover over the eggs and massage them around in the skillet with a folding motion with a wooden spoon. Add the ground white pepper to your preference. I prefer my eggs soft, melting, creamy but of course you should cook them to your preferences as well.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the cayenne pepper.
Fall in love with ramps.