Ramps are a wild leek that look like a green onion with two big green leaves. They can be found in the woods in the spring if you know where to look. Unfortunately I don't - I found mine at the Farmers Market. Maybe next year I will learn to forage.
I picked up a few bunches and would have probably used them the same way I use a green onion if one of the vendors hadn't had a sample of ramp pesto to try. It was amazing; spicy, green and super garlicy. But to my surprise, it contained no garlic at all. It is the leaves of the ramp that provided all the garlic kick, and I'm so glad he told us that or I probably would have sent the leaves into the compost for the worms and centipedes to enjoy. The ramp pesto is simple and I whipped up a big batch in the food processor.
The recipe is simple: ramp leaves, walnuts (could also use pine nuts but they leave a funky taste in my mouth), pecorino romano cheese (optional), olive oil, and kosher salt. We enjoyed it on pizza with fresh mozz, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and green olives, on Ohio City fresh pasta, and I froze some for later.
I tried two things with the bulbs. First I pickled some: