A quest for ramps led our small group of foragers to beautiful Flag Pond area of Tennessee (the specific location is top secret). You’ve never heard of ramps? They’re a “wild leek”, with a smell similar to strong onions and garlic. But we didn’t go hunting for just any onion; the ramp plays a big part in Appalachian springtime tradition. We found very few ramps early in our dig, but after a fortunate and chance encounter with a bonafide Mountain Man, we were pointed in the right direction — where ramps were abundant.
The day was wildly successful. We dug a mess of ramps (all the while considering future generations), enjoyed a simple picnic on the trail and I managed to make a delicious meal focused on the humble ramp.
Ramps & Potatoes
-4 small/medium red skinned potatoes, chopped
-7 ramp bulbs, minced
-2 T extra virgin olive oil
-1 tsp basil, oregano, thyme
-salt & pepper to taste
1) Sautee potatoes in olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat
2) After 20 minutes, add minced rams
3) Cook another 5-10 minutes until potatoes are crispy and golden
Note: You can also cook the green part of the ramps. I simply turned off the stove and threw chopped greens into the skillet for 30 seconds or until tender. Season with salt.