When I had Chef April Bloomfield’s ricotta gnudi in New York at the James Beard Awards, and I had to recreate them, only with my own twist: A sauce of ramps and fresh porcini I found in the High Sierra.
It should be obvious by now how much I love spring onions in all their forms. This light, lovely Italian rice dish highlights whatever wild or store-bought green onion you have on hand, spiked with fresh spring green herbs.
Wild onions, ramps especially, make a great pesto. This is my version, which is pretty classic — but you can play with pesto a lot, changing the nuts, cheese and herbs at will.
Pickling ramp bulbs — or the bulbs of any large wild onion — is a great way to preserve the harvest. These are fantastic served with cured meats and cheeses, or chopped into a relish or just eaten as a snack.
This might be the prettiest – and best-tasting – dish I’ve made this spring. You can really taste the ramps in the pasta, and the morels, cooked simply with ramps, butter and a little stock, compliment the pasta like sunshine on a pretty girl’s eyes.
Trout with morels, ramps and fiddleheads is a classic combination – all are in season at the same time, and in the same place. Even in the High Sierra, we have our own rendition, with bracken fiddleheads and Sierra wild onions. I call this dish Sierra Spring.
It’s wild onion season pretty much everywhere, and there happens to be a cool kind of Korean kimchi that uses green onions. So I made a big batch last month and let it ferment. Lo and behold, it’s awesome – especially as an accompaniment to fish.
Wild onions, ramps especially, make a great pesto. This is my version, which has a little oregano in it as well as almonds and pecorino cheese.