Wild Leeks have a wonderful flavor combination of onions and strong garlic. Some people have even compared the flavor to fried green onions. The community of Richwood, West Virginia, holds the annual “Feast of the Ramson” in April. Sponsored by the National Ramp Association, the “Ramp Feed” (as it is locally known) brings thousands of ramp aficionados from considerable distances to sample foods featuring the plant. During the ramp season (late winter through early spring), restaurants in the town serve a wide variety of foods containing ramps. Recently, wild leeks have started to catch the attention of chefs and foodies alike for the flavor that’s said to be better than cultivated leeks, scallions or chives.
Other Names: Ramps, wild garlic, ramsons
Origin: Pacific NW, USA
Shelf Life: Wild leeks will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional Facts: 100 grams of wild leeks contain almost 30% of daily needed Vitamin K, 13% of daily needed manganese, and 5-7% of the daily needed amounts of Vitamins A, B6 and C, folate, iron, and copper*. Leeks belong to the Allium vegetable family that includes garlic and onion and shares many health benefits with these vegetables. Notably, leeks support the cardiovascular system to resist disease and protect blood vessel linings from being damaged.
Tips: Wild Leeks or “ramps” add wonderful and uniquely pungent flavor to soups, egg dishes, casseroles, rice dishes and potato dishes. Use them raw or cooked in any recipe calling for scallions or leeks, or cook them in a more traditional way, scrambled with eggs or fried with potatoes. Since wild leeks aren’t cultivated in the way leeks are, they’re much easier to clean. Just cut off roots, rinse thoroughly, and scrub off any excess dirt on the bulbs.
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Click here to see the source.