Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The Day's Special: Ramps

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The Day's Special: Ramps

Article excerpt

The weather nowadays may be somewhat bonkers. Nevertheless, spring has arrived -- and that means ramp season has officially begun. It is, though, a very, very short season, just a few weeks from late April to early June.

This may be why chefs go ga-ga for this skinny green vegetable, which tastes like a cross between an onion and garlic (making it a good substitute for either ingredient in recipes). Ramps, which are wild onions, look like scallions but have one or two broad leaves. They are also sometimes called wild leeks or spring onions.

"They are considered to be the truffle of the onion family," says Arthur Toufayan, owner and chef of Cafe Amici in Wyckoff, adding that legendary chef Charlie Palmer introduced him to the vegetable at his venerated New American restaurant Aureole in Manhattan. Toufayan recalls being asked by Palmer to forage for ramps by the West Side Highway when he worked in Palmer's kitchen.

"I said no," Toufayan reports. "I wasn't going to get killed looking for ramps. …

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