If you’ve never cooked with ramps, you’re missing out.
These pungent, early-spring vegetables have a cross between garlic and leeks flavor.
And while they’re often used in pickling recipes, ramps can also be eaten raw, sautéed, grilled, or roasted.
Ramps are a member of the allium family, which includes onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks.
They have a distinctively pungent flavor and are only available for a short time in the spring.
Ramps are best when they’re freshly picked, but if you can’t find them at your local farmers market, you can substitute one of these five ingredients.
Let’s take a look.
What are Ramps?
Ramps are a kind of wild onion that have a unique and pungent flavor.
They are only found in some regions of the world and are only in season for a few weeks each year.
Ramps have a long, slender white bulb that is attached to a green stem.
The leaves of ramps are also edible and have a similar taste to chives.
When ramp bulbs are cooked, they turn a deep pink color.
Ramps can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled.
They are often used as a flavoring agent in soups and stews.
Ramps can also be grilled or sauteed and served as a side dish.
When selecting ramps, look for bulbs that are firm and free of blemishes.
Avoid ramps that have wilted leaves or brown spots on the bulbs.
Ramps should be stored in the refrigerator, and they will keep for up to two weeks.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Ramps
If you find yourself in ramp withdrawal come summertime, never fear.
There are plenty of substitutes that will give you that same garlicky, oniony flavor.
Here are our five favorites:
1 – Leeks
Leeks are a type of vegetable that belong to the onion family.
They have long, cylindrical leaves that are white or light green in color.
The edible part of the leek is the stalk, which can be eaten cooked or raw.
When cooked, leeks have a milder flavor than onions and can be used in soups, stews, and other dishes.
Leeks are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium.
They can be purchased fresh, frozen, or canned and are available year-round in most grocery stores.
2 – Spring Onions
Spring onions, also known as green onions or scallions, are a type of onion that is harvested before the bulb has fully developed.
The entire plant can be used, including the white part of the bulb, the green leaves, and the long green stem.
They have a milder flavor than most onions, making them a versatile ingredient in many dishes.
Spring onions are often used raw in salads or as a garnish, but they can also be cooked.
When cooking with spring onions, it is essential to keep in mind that the different parts of the plant have different textures.
The white part of the bulb is the most firm, while the leaves are more delicate.
The stem is somewhere in between.
As a result, it is best to use them in dishes where they will be cooked for different lengths of time, such as stir-fries or omelets.
Whether raw or cooked, spring onions add a welcome touch of flavor to any dish.
3 – Shallots
Shallots are a type of onion that is closely related to garlic.
They have a milder flavor than onions, and they can be used in a variety of recipes.
Shallots are usually planted in the spring, and they take about four months to mature.
When they are ready to harvest, the tops of the plants will begin to turn yellow and fall over.
Shallots can be stored for several months if they are kept in a cool, dry place.
When cooking with shallots, it is essential to remember that a little goes a long way.
They can be used in soups, salads, and sauces, or they can be roasted or fried.
Whatever way you choose to use them, shallots will add a unique flavor to your dish.
4 – Chives
Chives are a member of the onion family and have a mild taste that can enhance the flavor of many dishes.
When used fresh, they add a touch of color and can be sprinkled over salads or Soups.
They can also be used as a garnish for baked potatoes or other vegetables.
Chives can also be cooked and used in dips, sauces, omelets, and other dishes.
For best results, chives should be added towards the end of the cooking process so that their flavor is not too overpowering.
When stored properly, fresh chives can last for up to two weeks.
However, they can also be frozen for longer-term storage.
Regardless of how they are used, chives are versatile ingredients that can add flavor and visual appeal to many different dishes.
5 – Garlic Cloves
Garlic cloves are one of the most versatile ingredients in cooking.
They can be used to add flavor to savory dishes, or they can be used as a natural remedy for various ailments.
Garlic cloves are also an effective insect repellent and can even be used to deter dogs from digging in the garden.
When choosing garlic cloves for cooking, it is essential to select those that are plump and free from blemishes.
Store garlic in a cool, dark place, and use it within a few weeks for best results.
To use garlic cloves in cooking, peel and chop them as desired.
Add them to soups, stews, sauces, or any other dish that could benefit from their flavorful aroma and taste.
Garlic cloves can also be roasted or sautéed for a more intense flavor.
Experiment with different ways of using garlic cloves in your cooking, and enjoy the delicious results.
In conclusion, a few substitutes come close to the taste and texture of ramps.
These include leeks, spring onions, shallots, chives, and garlic cloves.
While none of these have the same flavor as ramps, they can still provide a delicious and savory contribution to many dishes.
So don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen and find the perfect substitute for your next meal.