Monday, May 23, 2011

4th Annual Rampfest

The ramp season was a bit later this year because of the much cooler spring. But ramp enthusiasts patiently waited for the tender greens to reach their prime. Also referred to as the spring onion, wild leek or wild garlic, this spring plant peaks in May. Both the tender greens and the bulb are edible. The greens will eventually die off, so they are best as new shoots.

We have enjoyed ramps for a few years now but our harvest is always in Ontario and done on properties with permission. Picking ramps in Quebec is illegal since the Quebec government declared ramps an endangered species in 1995. So no surprise that there is now a black market. Not only are pickers skulking about in the middle of the night in La Belle Provence, poachers are also trespassing on Ontario properties where ramps are growing abound. Ramps can be over-harvested, thus ruining the ramp bed. Conscientious pickers will limit their harvest to less than a third of the clump.

I have heard that a single ramp stem can sell for as much as $1. This makes the black market business very lucrative. Certainly quick money for the month of May.

The Ottawa Citizen published an article recently on this ramp fever.

Again this year we were hosted by good friends at the 4th Annual Rampfest. The crowd of 40 some not only enjoy ramps, they enjoy good food and good company.

All dishes, except for the desserts, have ramps incorporated into them in some fashion. Some brought tried and true favourites, while others tried their hand at a new creation. No matter what dish we had, none of us seemed to grow weary of the allium tricoccum bounty.


Pickled Ramps

Ramp, Bacon, Olive & Sun-dried Tomato Bread

Ramp Frittata

Bacon Ramp Terrine with Beef, Foie Gras & Mushrooms

Maritime Seafood Chowder with Double Smoked Bacon & Ramps

Bouillabaisse Terrine with Ramp Rouille

Ramp Stuffed Chicken Thighs

Ramp Focaccia

Ramp Focaccia

Gambas with Ramps and Gnocchi

Ramp Lasagna

Chorizo with Pickled Ramps


Ramp & Maple Syrup Marinated Beef Tenderloin with Ramp & Horseradish Mayo

Salmon Poached in White Wine & Ramp Leaves

Ramp & Cucumber Salad

German Potato Salad with Ramp Dressing

*** DESSERTS ***

4-Biter World Famous Butter Tarts [recipe included here]

Toffee Pudding

Carrot Cake

Cheeses with Ramp Jelly & Fruit [no picture]


  1. That is a lot of nice looking ramp dishes!

  2. Hi Kevin:

    A couple we know have a wonderful rural property outside of Ottawa. We feel privileged to gather once a year to ramp it up with great friends and great chefs from the city. I did try my hand at creating a ramp dessert which turned out well. [ramp crepe with rhubarb compote fool for filling, dolloped with rhubarb compote and a sprinkle of ramp praline]. Hard to serve a crowd though so I just stuck with tarts. And in reality, to copy a quote, allium has no place in dessert. It is a hard flavour to balance that way.

    Thanks for visiting the blog!

  3. Very impressed by the array of ramp dishes! Our first foraging adventure was a success - thanks for visiting my blog - I enjoyed yours as well! I am still working on a few ideas for my allium inspiration. Happy Cooking.


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