Pickled ramps in my window.
For me, this is one of the first signs of spring: the emergence of garlic ramps. Also known as spring onions or wild leeks, ramps grow wild just as the first spring blossoms start to make their appearance. People say that they taste like something between garlic and onion, I agree with that but would add that their greens taste something like spinach when they're cooked. The White Hart Inn, in Salisbury Connecticut, served a side of sautéed ramps with their fantastic burger on a pretzel roll this weekend -- perfection.
Ramps are foraged, not cultivated, which means they can be very expensive: I saw them for sale at one farm market in New York's Hudson Valley for more than $17 a pound! My husband picked up a jar of pickled ramps (pictured here on a rather rainy Sunday) from one of our favorite local farms, Whipporwill.
If all of this thrills you as much as it does me, make your plans to head to the Berkshires for Farmed + Foraged: A Weekend of Spring Flavors, on May 15 - 17th. You can also look for ramps at your local farm market, and when you find them, check out a few recipes here, and here. Also, look for ramps at restaurants that serve seasonal food, especially in the U.S. South, where ramps are a regional favorite.