Ramps are wild garlic, or more specifically wild leeks. They can also be called spring onion, ramson or wood leek depending on where you live in the world.
How to clean ramps (wild garlic)
First you need to clean them thoroughly. We learned the tough way that it’s best to cut the roots onsite, otherwise you’ll bring home an extra 6 pounds of dirt. While foraging is amazing because the food is essentially free, you do spend extra time cleaning them. It was our first time cleaning and with 14 pounds of ramps and a couple pounds of small field wild garlic we spent more than a few hours cleaning.
Like their cousin, the regular leek, there is a lot of soil in the plant and so we found soaking them first in water works best. If you’re not in a restaurant with a two-step sink just set up two or three buckets in your backyard to soak and rinse. We wouldn’t recommend cleaning leeks this in your kitchen as it can get quite messy.
While we love the charred ramp pesto recipe at home, Dave had an idea to feature ramps as the ultimate onion ring.
He thought the wild garlic onion flavour would work well in a beer battered ramp recipe so we have been serving it for the last few weeks. Both the green leaves and the ramp stalks are edible so we’ve been frying them whole.
The beer batter gives a great crust on the outside, texture and crunch. Super creamy, oniony flavour and cuts the potent onion garlic flavour in the ramp.
The reaction from our guests has been so overwhelmingly positive that we thought the recipe was worth sharing.
If you’re in Toronto and want to try some of our food check out the Loka Snacks Facebook Page.