It’s April in Appalachia. That means it’s time to go dig some ramps. I know where there’s a patch up in the national forest near our house. Okay, so maybe it’s on a neighbor’s property right on the edge of the national forest. Technically off-limits.
So, a few years ago, I borrowed two. Dug them up and transplanted them in the woods behind our house. Now, my husband would be quick to tell you I’m more of a theoretical gardener. I have wonderful ideas, but I’m not much on follow through. I plant things and then trust the ongoing care to nature. And sometimes nature comes through. Which is why I have a baby ramp coming up in the woods.
I’m certainly not going to eat it, but I like knowing it’s there. And maybe one day this little guy will naturalize and I’ll have a whole crop. Feels like home.
If you want to try this stinky cross between garlic and a leek, you can order them at www.wildwestvirginiaramps.com. Seriously!
-Fry 3 or 4 strips of bacon in a cast iron skillet.
-Remove bacon and drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
-Cut up 3 decent-sized red potatoes into bite size pieces and fry in the hot fat.
-Once the potatoes are almost cooked through and getting brown.
-Add a handful of chopped up ramps–white and light green parts–more or less depending on whether you plan to be around people who haven’t eaten ramps.
-Saute until the ramps are wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
-Add crumbled bacon over the lot and serve warm.
Some folks like a splash of vinegar.