Found creekside in wooded areas throughout West Virginia, I consider these lovely little wild leeks one of the state's tastiest treasures (rivaled only by morel mushrooms). Besides, you can't get more local than going out in the woods and digging up dinner, right?
Traditionally, ramps are fried in bacon grease, paired with trout, and served alongside fried potatoes (and delicious in that, this is going to kill me, kinda way). However, as their popularity has spread to urban farmer's markets and even Mario Batali's Babbo in NYC, the way in which ramps are prepared has also expanded to include soups, sauces, soufflés, and more.
If you'd rather enjoy your ramps served up snazzy, here are some local restaurants where you'll find ramps showcased in their Spring specials.
213 West Washington Street
Charles Town, WV
The Press Room
129 West German Street
The Bavarian Inn
164 Shepherd Grade Road
Lot 12 Public House
117 Warren Street
Berkeley Springs, WV
Keep reading for my recipe for ramp pesto. This pesto works well with both fresh and frozen ramps, so it's a great way to enjoy them year-round!
Richele's Ramp Pesto
3 Cups - Ramps (cleaned and blanched)
-Drizzle in olive oil while blending.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with remaining shredded cheese.