ramp-pizza Recipes

ramp pizza

It probably goes without saying — but I will say it anyway; this is an internet weblog, after all — that a whole lot of the food I cook at home doesn’t make it onto this site. I like to use this space to talk about aspirational cooking — things that have fascinated me because they were different or better or even easier than I’d expected to make. At the very least, I hope they’ll have a good story to tell or get someone else as excited to cook as I was. The work-a-day cooking (pizza, lazy meatballs, oatmeal) that fills out our weeks is hardly noteworthy stuff.

washing the ramps
trim the hairy ends

I also prefer to avoid gushing about ingredients most people don’t have access to. No, I don’t mean truffles or anything so fancy — I’m not secretly flavoring my pasta water with fistfuls of the Himalayan pink salt I eschew elsewhere — I just mean something that especially short-seasoned and regional and it feels little will be gained by crowing about a dish that 95% of people can’t make.

separate the stemps/bulbs from the greens

mince the bulbs, coarsely slice the greens
sauteeing the pink bulbs
adding the leafy half
wilting the ramp greens

At the top of this list are ramps, also known as wild leeks. They’re grown mostly in the East Coast cooler climates, and are only available for a few weeks each spring. People get a little gaga over them — they have a reputation for being overhyped, which is a funny thing, don’t you think, that we live in a world where a leafy green onion can be given too much of a rock star status? — because they’re one of the first things to emerge from the soil after nearly a half-year freeze. I personally get a little gaga over them because I think they’re the perfect package; the bottom, slim, pink half is the ideal aromatic (sharp onion with a hint of garlic) and the top half is silky green. They’re a swirl of olive oil and a pinch of seasoning away from being a self-reliant dish. Maybe I envy them?

foaming the yeast
pizza dough, ready to rise
ramps, puree, trays, dough

Thus, there are a lot of good reasons that I’ve only mentioned my three years strong obsession with the ramp pizza at Motorino on 12th Street in passing. Pizza? Boring! Ramps? Nice if you can find them! But as we tucked into our first annual pie last week and my preschool heartbreaker didn’t even pick off the green vegetables before eating his slice (gasp!) and I once again gushed over the perfection in its simplicity, I decided enough was enough: we all need a chance to make this at home.

just thin dough, tomato puree, ramps
ramp pizzas, ready to bake
ramp pizza, motorino-style

Because it’s one of those perfect meals. Ramp bulbs are thinly sliced and sautéed until slightly sweeter, but still retaining a bit of a sharp bite. The leaves are sautéed until just wilted. They’re scattered over a thinly stretched pizza dough that’s been slicked with just the smallest amount of a tomato puree and that’s it. No pepperoni. No herbs. No nubs of bacon/bitter green peppers/charred pineapple/waxy white mushrooms/black olives. There isn’t even any mozzarella, although I tried the most scant amount on one pie last week and it wasn’t half-bad — but still not necessary. In the oven, the tomato puree cooks into a sauce. The ramps get even sweeter. The edges of the greens crisp like kale chips, but you know, more delicious ones. And when you take it out of the oven, you scatter the whole thing with a salty, nutty aged Romano cheese and wonder how pizza ever got so complicated. You might even wonder how life ever go so complicated. You might even decide that it’s time for a [Insert Name of Current Beloved Seasonal Vegetable] Pizza night every week. We salute this.

ramp pizza with romano cheese

More ramp recipes: I haven’t done a lot with them on this site, but I highly recommend this ramp risotto we made a couple years ago; it was delicious. I’m also hoping to make us some ramp paninis this week. I’ll cook the ramps the same way I suggest below, but press them with some mozzarella. I am sure a slice of proscuitto would be delicious in there as well.

One year ago: Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe (we made this for dinner Friday; so easy, still delicious)
Two years ago: Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll
Three years ago: Lime Yogurt Cake with Blackberry Sauce
Four years ago: Cinnamon Swirl Buns and Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper
Five years ago: Caramelized Shallots and Peanut Sesame Noodles
Six years ago: Black Bean Confetti Salad

Ramp Pizza
Inspired by Motorino’s version

Yield: 1 thin 12-inch round or roughly 9×13-inch rectangular pizza; will serve 2 hungry adults (we double this for the three of us and end up with leftovers, which I call dibs on). I don’t usually double the garlic in the puree when I make two pizzas.

4 ounce, about half a bundle, ramps (see footnote for other suggestions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt
Cornmeal
1 12-ounce pizza dough, ready to use (I default to my Rushed Pizza Dough in the book or this Really Simple one these days)
1/3 to 1/2 cup canned tomato puree or whole canned tomatoes
1 tiny garlic clove, minced
Pinch of sugar or drops of red wine vinegar (if needed)
3 to 4 ounces mozzarella, sliced into paper-thin rounds (optional)
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, finely grated

Trim hairy ends off ramp bulbs. Separate ramp bulbs/stems from darker leafy ends. Thinly slice the stem ends; cut the leafier ends into 1/2-inch thick ribbons.

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add a pinch of red pepper flakes if using, and the sliced bulbs and saute until translucent but still a little crunchy/sharp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add ramp leaves and cook until just wilted, barely 1 minute. Season with salt and set aside.

Heat your oven to its hottest temperature. Coat a baking sheet or pizza pan lightly with cornmeal (so that dough doesn’t stick). Stretch pizza dough into a very thin 11 to 12-inch round or large rectangle with your fingers. Don’t worry if it’s uneven or misshapen.

If using whole canned tomatoes, either chop or puree them until you have your desired sauce consistency. In a small bowl, mix them with garlic, salt and red pepper flakes if using. Taste for seasoning. You can add a drop or two of vinegar for extra brightness or a pinch of sugar if it tastes like it needs it. Spread this mixed tomato puree thinly over your dough almost to the edges. You might not need a full 1/2 cup; I tend to use 1/4 to 1/3 cup.

If using mozzarella, spread thin slices over tomatoes. Scatter sauteed ramps over pizza. Season with additional salt and pepper (or pepper flakes) and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Bake in heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes (keeping an eye on it if this is your first time baking pizza in a very hot oven), until crust is golden all around and mozzarella (if using) has some charred spots. Remove pizza from oven, scatter it immediately with pecorino romano cheese and serve in slices.

But I can’t get ramps! Leeks seem like the obvious choice, and they’d be delicious, but they’re much heavier than their wild counterpart, and take much longer to cook. Spring onions would be a nicer replacement. So could a mixture of scallions and a handful of spinach. Mainly, you’re looking for something small and onion-y to saute until translucent, but retain some sharpness, and a green to lightly wilt. I think that whatever you choose will be delicious.

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225 comments on ramp pizza

  1. My husband is crazy about ramps. Last year I pickled some but if I can still find them in the farmer’s markets in Va I might just try this pizza! yum.

  2. I love the simplicity of this (and the minimalist approach to the cheese), yet I can imagine it’s still wonderfully flavorful. I’m not sure if I can find ramps now that I live in California, but you’ve inspired me to try looking!

  3. I will have to keep my eyes out for them! I live about a mile away from the NC state farmers market, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed! Also, your pizza dough recipe is the only one I ever use because it’s foolproof and absolutely delicious.

  4. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen ramps for sale in the UK but that’s not going to stop me dreaming about this pizza and trying every one of your suggested substitutions.

  5. This looks fantastic!!

    And since it’s Earth Day, I’d like to throw a little caution out there for folks who might forage some ramps for themselves. Please make sure you follow good foraging practices… ramps are getting rare(r) in some parts because of over-harvesting.

  6. thanks for the reference to the rhubarb focaccia, Nicole. Just popped that into Evernote along with this one. (oh, spring, are you coming soon?) (in Ontario, where it’s taking its time getting here)

  7. I made your margherita pizza and dough from your book last night, it was fantastic! I was thinking I’d like to work on what i blend the sauce with, and that i would need to make it more often in order to do so. THis gives me the perfect opportunity as i get Ramps in my CSA Share next week. I’m so excited to try this out, not to mention I’ve never cooked with Ramps before!!!!

  8. Definitely saving this recipe for when it’s ramp season in Minnesota. Because we DO get them in Minnesota, YAY! (We just don’t get them yet because the freaking snow will not stop falling this year. Snow from October to May? That’s weird and ridiculous, even for Northern MN…)

  9. Ramps are considered a weed in cow pastures and farmers are more than happy for your to come pick them all- if the cows eat the ramp leaves, the milk will taste garlic-y!

  10. That looks delicious. I echo what Erin said, though. If you find ramps growing wild, be spare with what you take, so that you (and others) can enjoy them in springs to come.

  11. This looks awesome, and I don’t even mind that I live in California where I can’t get a ramp to save my life. (Though I might hate @Melissa just a little for getting them in her CSA. Seriously unfair!) I think it’s great to write about oddball ingredients! The more they get written about, the more widely available they will become – or at least that’s how I rationalized posting three recipes made with fresh bergamot this year. ;) Thanks for doing what you do, Deb – love your site and your book!

  12. Deb, where did you find ramps in the city? I’ve been looking at Grand Army Plaza farmers’ market for the past few weeks but nothing’s turned up! I had thought ramp season was end of March, so I was starting to get disheartened.

    1. Where to buy ramps — Right now, several stands have them at the Union Square Greenmarket. I am not sure if Whole Foods has them on Houston, but I wouldn’t be surprised. (Definitely call first before making a special trip.) And Fresh Direct (delivery) even has them this year from a local farm. I think they *just* arrived last week at the Greenmarkets, so they might be getting snatched up quickly by obsessives. If you have a chance to swing through earlier in a day, I think you’ll be rewarded.

  13. There’s a rumor that ramps also can be found in Southern California. I’m hitting all of the nearby farmers markets this week with ramps on my radar. Thanks. As for elusive ingredients, my kitchen lab is opened today and I’ll be playing with Freekeh. Think ancient grain. But can’t wait to get my mitts on ramp.

  14. Hi Deb,
    your pizza looks just great – and I loved to read your writing about ramps-gaganess ;-). I admit to be a groupy of this first spring green as well – same thing in Berlin as in New York. Many people over here find wild ramps (we call it bear’s garlic, I guess that’s the same) in the woods when doing a weekend bicycle trip or a hike. You can’t miss it because of its intense garlic smell.
    Cheers
    Claudia

  15. Thanks – we don’t have ramps on the other side of the pond but we WILL be having pizza for dinner anyway! :D

  16. When my husband and I moved apartments in the East Village, we made sure to stay within Motorino’s delivery zone. Definitely not crazy :)

  17. Ramps are just peeking out of the ground in my back yard. A couple of years ago I bought some at our local coop, ate half of the bunch and planted the other half under a tree in the yard. It will be quite a few years before we harvest them, but I’m seeing them start to spread and it will be worth it to have our own ramps some day. I guess it’s like planting a fruit tree, takes a few years to yield.

    Looking forward to trying this recipe when the ramps in NH are ready to harvest.

  18. For any Upstate/Central NY Readers, ramps have just appeared at the Syracuse Regional Farmer’s Market this past Saturday! I am so making this pizza this weekend!

  19. Hi Deb,

    I just wanted to say thank you about your note on ingredients and using things people can find. I’m an American living in Tunisia and your site is my go-to for cooking for this very reason. Nothing is prefab here and I just find nearly all recipes I google or see on cooking sites have loads of things I don’t have access to but yours not so! Really appreciate the philosophy and keep it up, we’ve been eating well here ever since I stumbled on your site :).

  20. I’m currently in Vienna, and over this way we get a very similar plant to this in our farmer’s market. In German it’s called Bärlauch and it’s Allium ursinum as opposed to your Ramps’ Allium tricoccum. Marvellous stuff. Cursing that the place I’m staying doesn’t have an oven :( It just appeared at my local market this weekend, and tonight I had pasta with Bärlauch and mushrooms, which I must say wasn’t half bad.

  21. Sounds delicious. I think, but am not 100%, that here in the UK wild garlic/ ransomes which are just out now, are the same as, or very similar to, ramps?
    Deb – I have your lovely book right now from our local library, and now can’t face being without it, so will be purchasing my own copy very soon – thank you!

  22. After that introduction, I suppose this is a pretty ridiculous question, but for those of us who can’t get to ramps: Any other season produce you’d recommend topping a pizza with? Pretty please?

  23. Be still my heart which beats for thee, precious ramps! They grow in the Midwest, we get them from our beloved CSA for but one or two weeks in early spring. I can’t wait to make this!

  24. Ramp aren’t the easiest of vegetables to work with. I can remember being able to smell them cooking at a ramp festival miles away. It was interesting the say the least. That said you have done a masterful job with this and the pizza looks divine.

  25. Hi. here in S. WI after an extended winter my wild leeks (allium triccum) just punched through the soil in the woods.I’ll try this recipe this Fri.-pizza night. In the past the wild version of this plant is really quite pungent even after cooking.

  26. My father-in-law often sends us ramps in the spring (we live in Wyoming, he’s in Appalachia), resulting in some interesting phone messages from the post office. “Hi, um, you have a package here. I think you should come get it as soon as possible. It’s kind of potent. Did you order garlic? It might be going bad. Anyway, could you come get it? We might have to put it outside.”

    We LOVE ramps. We planted some in Montana and they came back! Unfortunately we moved, so…might have to try again here in Wyoming.

    Thanks for posting ramp recipes!!!!

  27. Just had Motorino’s ramp pizza for the first time this week (as well as Otto’s, which was a close second) and just wanted to verify how insanely awesome it is. Food gift from the gods.

  28. I make something similar (but with easier-to-find ingredients) by sauteeing garlic and kale, then topping pizza with it. The kale crisps into kale chips, just like your description of the ramps. Definitely works better with only the faintest brush of tomato sauce.

  29. I live in southern West Virginia, so I can drive about five minutes in any direction and find someone selling ramps along the side of whatever road I find myself on. I am always looking for a new recipe, and this will go on the table this weekend. A friend visited our favorite local Chinese eatery a few years ago and gave the owner a gift of two pounds of ramps, with the request to “do something different” with them. Now there’s a brief ramp section on the menu in March and April. We’re going to persuade him to try morrels this year while they’re in season.

  30. My family owns a bit of land in West Virginia and I remember climbing into the mountains to harvest for ramp season. Love them. We mostly fried them up like greens. It’s been a few years since I’ve had them. Glad to see them get some attention. They are very potent though so make sure you’ve got a breath mint or two around for after dinner.

  31. As far as ramps in NYC, I didn’t make it to the farmer’s market this weekend, but the gourmet store Agata & Valentina had them which means they must have turned up at the farmer’s markets, possibly only the bigger markets though.

  32. Sounds so good! We’ve got all kinds of green garlic, maybe a green garlic and asparagus pizza would be fitting. Have you heard about the annual West Virginia Ramp Festival?

  33. Yum! I’ve never even heard of ramps before, but now want to try them! Sadly, I don’t think I’ll get to try this pizza this year because it is currently snowing outside (so much for local produce). Anyway, perhaps next year. I do love making homemade pizza, and the rushed pizza dough recipe in your book is divine.

  34. Aha! So that’s why I’ve never seen ramps around here. I don’t live on the East coast! This pizza sounds fantastic and I love that you shared an accessible base recipe even if the toppings aren’t available for everyone. It’s so easily adapted.

  35. I remember asking what ramps were when reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Rapunzel’s mother wanted them so much that she traded her unborn baby to a witch for them.

  36. I’ve never seen ramps on the shelf here in Arizona, though I was just discussing them with someone who will soon move here from Ohio. (Boy, will she be disappointed.) I do have leeks in the fridge, however, and you inspired me to add them to this evening’s pizza!

  37. I’ve honestly never heard of Ramps! They sound so intriguing, only being available for such a short time. It really makes me want to check out the farmers market just to see what they’re all about.

    The pizza itself sounds amazing. Not even knowing exactly how ramps taste, the fact that it’s just sauce and ramps makes it special. I love the simpleness of it and can only imagine how perfect this pizza must taste. Thanks for sharing!

  38. We lived in the woods for some time and there a woodwise friend taught us how to forage for ramps in our back lot. So it’s funny although completely understandable to hear your perspective because for me, ramps are mostly the least elitist, most genuine food, the one I picked when it was available (getting really muddy to do so) and ate because it was delicious and fresh and free. Now I live in the burbs again and when I see ramps at the market they are smaller, and wilted, and expensive, and I don’t buy them for all those reasons. Those are the elitist ramps, I guess :) But seriously, to be all grim and political, it is strange how seasonality has become a commodity because it is so difficult for us modern types to access truly fresh and seasonal goods–rather than being a way of life because of the need to store up and make use of the glut when it comes.

    My favorite thing about ramps is their sheer delicacy and tenderness, they cook up so quickly. I am really not austere about food at all, but it’s hard to beat ramps just steamed, topped with a vinaigrette (Deborah Madison has a great one using sour cream, capers, mustard, sherry vinegar, shallot).

    But i’d take this delicious looking pizza any day of the week as well!

  39. I was curious about ramps in Quebec (according to Wikipedia they are popular here but in 34 years I’ve never seen them anywhere) It turns out that they are a protected species due to over harvesting and their sale is prohibited. You can pick your own but are limited to a maximum of 50 bulbs per year- and that’s if you can find them growing wild (they grow well under Maples, it says). There are similar conservation startegies in place in other Canadian provinces as well. I’m disappointed- that pizza looked so darn tasty!

  40. I haven’t seen ramps over here in Toronto either (actually, I had never heard of them before today, so thank you Deb!), but I think another fresh, spring vegetable will create the same kind of oh-yay-spring-is-finally-here effect with your pizza.

    Oh, and there’s nothing like getting kids to actually like vegetables for once :)

  41. I just wanted to share the glory that is The Cheese Board’s perfect pizza dough recipe. If you have a mixer, measuring cups, and a timer, you can also make a perfect pizza dough!

  42. I’ve totally never heard of this fabulous greens before! Perhaps they don’t exist around these parts but maybe I’m not looking hard enough. I’ll be treasure hunting in my next few grocery shoppings!

  43. I bought ramps the other day in Union Square and made risotto: sooooooo good.
    Never tried them on pizza dough, I guess another trip to Union Square is in order!

  44. The best way to eat it in Russia is a fresh salad with boiled eggs, cucumber and ramp (cheremscha in Russian) with a pinch of salt and sour cream! It’s very good with young boiled potatoes! Will try to make this faboulos pizza this weekend.

  45. Americans should indulge in more of the springtime vegetables that appear at this time of year. Here in Japan where I live, the indulgence in many kinds of spring only available vegetables is a seasonal gourmet extravaganza. Only for a few short weeks are these vegetables available. Farmers and those who live in the mountains and valleys pick these leaves and different kinds of vegetables and buds and sell them in markets. Some of them make it all the way here to Tokyo where I live. They are spring indulgence not to be missed. Now I never have had a ramp onion but it certainly is on my list now of something that I really want to try in the spring in America!

  46. Thank you for the lovely tutorial on ramps. All the food blogs are singing their praises right now, but you are the only one that explained what they are to us poor landlocked people in the Midwest. The only downside is that now I really REALLY want to try some.

  47. Thank you for acknowledging the ramp crowing. I get sort of annoyed on Facebook because a segment of my friends are all like, “Ramps! Ramps! Ramps!” Until I moved up north, I had never heard of them. It’s like all the cool foodie kids need to prove it by talking endlessly about ramps. It’s kind of like my friend who thinks the only thing anyone wants to see when they visit him is the farmer’s market. Don’t get me wrong. I like a farmer’s market. I also like other things, though! Ah, my rant made me feel so much better!

    That said, your pizza looks delicious and a little perspective is nice. :)

    1. Ramp-obsessed foodie-types — I’ve definitely noticed this too, but it just seems so funny to me that a) anyone would obsess over an onion, b) people would rail against an onion because others obsess over it. I think we’re overthinking this, and that this is something happening — a luxury perhaps — of a very narrow subsegment of the world. I also think it doesn’t make them any less tasty, especially on pizza.

  48. Thanks for this great post, Deb. I live in ramp-land, the western nc mountains. Where I”ll be eating risotto tonight made with ramps, morels, nettles and branch lettuce that my friends and I will collect shortly. Since ramps have become so popular, we have issues with folks depleting our mountain stands and just want to put a plug in for purchasing ramps that have been sustainably harvested (if they are wild-foraged). So we’ll have plenty to share in years to come. Responsible mountain foragers cut the ramp bulb in the ground and leave the roots in the ground. If the ramps you’re about to purchase have roots, ask where they’re from and how they were grown.

  49. We don’t have ramps here in Florida (too darn hot all the time), but I’m thinking I’ll make this with the pretty sweet onions coming out of the Strawberry patches for the last few weeks of our “spring.”

    Beautiful!

  50. Like you, I couldn’t find ramps and I used leeks and scallions instead for a quiche tart I saw Martha Stewart cook (in person) while watching her tv show live. I made the recipe again this time and but wasn’t sure how it would turn out. It was good and now that you’ve cooked with this recipe, I am braver to do my quiche all over again and even share it with my readers. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Deb!

  51. It just dawned on me that the T Rex song “Raw Ramp” is about an onion!? I will never be able to listen to the song in the same way again.

  52. I can’t remember exactly the details, but I want to say that The New York Times or The New Yorker published a story once about a ramp hunting and cooking contest in Central Park. It was before ramps were all the rage, before ramps could find themselves sauteed into pizza, but for the life of me, I can’t track down the article. Perhaps I’m totally mistaken in this food memory, but it just sounds so familiar to me.

  53. Wow I can’t believe I have finally seen these on an English speaking Website. I live in Switzerland and we call this Baerlauch…. It grows all around where I live, and we can’t just pick and huge bag full within minutes. It grows at the lower altitudes first and then up in the pre-alpin region where I live. We love to make butter out of it, ut in homemade pasta, in sauces, with butter and bread over meat for a nice crust, with soup or mixed a bit in salads.
    http://www.bff-blog.com/2013/04/barlauch-bear-leek/ this is a pesto recipe to keep the season going!! Thanks for this pizza – will try it out tonight!!
    barb

  54. Man, now I feel guilty.
    Living in DC, I have pretty good access to ramps. But I just can’t get into ’em. Sorry. Ramps and fiddleheads, they just don’t do it for me. Same with shad roe, I can take it or leave it. Does that make me an ungrateful spring-time East Coaster? I will eat the hell out of some asparagus! But ramps, eh.
    Does anyone want me to send them whatever my share of ramps may be for the season??

  55. As far as I’m concerned, pizza is food for the Gods and to top it with a leek like vegetable…this seems pretty close to heaven to me. Can’t wait to try it!

  56. Deb:

    Thanks so much for your blog, and your cookbook… everything I’ve ever made from either have been amazing. I recently made margherita pizza from the book, and am now dying to try this Ramp version. I do have a question however. You recommended baking the pizza on doubled up baking sheets for an even cooking surface. However I found the crust underneath the toppings did not cook through, where it browned beautifully on the exposed edges. If I’d kept the pizza in any longer the topping and edges would have burned. Maybe 1 pan is enough? Any need to partially pre-bake this crust?

    1. Jill — I find that so strange. Was it a very thick dough? Were the toppings heavier than I used? The two pan method is to help distribute the heat better, so I wouldn’t switch to one (although if you’re curious, you can find out). When things cook at the edges faster than the center, sometimes it’s just the heat that needs to be reduced. That said, the temp/cooking times I give are really for a thin pizza with a thin amount of toppings.

  57. I saw a gaggle of shoppers anxiously reaching into a bucket of ramps at my tiny neighborhood market. If there are any left today, I’ll have to finally give them a try. I may have to crowd surf to get at them though.

  58. We bought some from a farmers market on Saturday in London. They are called Ramps, ramsons, wild garlic, bear garlic here. Look lovely in the woods with their white flowers.

  59. You can often get ramps from Gilt Food online, but I can’t speak to the quality because I am fortunate enough to obtain them at Rainbow Foods seasonally in San Francisco instead. I have noticed they are on the Gilt Food site from time to time, for those who live in the middle of the US. Out of the US, you might be out of luck!

  60. So funny because my husband made ramp pizza last night and then I see this here today. He did ours with morels and a white sauce, however. It was very subtle and quite good, but would love to try your version next time!

  61. Thanks to Gayle for reminding those of us who love them, that fiddleheads and Shad are coming. A great delight for us on the East Coast. I saw rhubarb the other day too! It’s been cooler than usual in the northeast, maybe we’ll have a longer ramp season????? They are awesome mixed into cottage cheese, cream cheese, etc. Does anyone have a cheese bread recipe that could use these instead of scallions or dill?How about it Deb? Know of one? We could all freeze loaves of it, and prolong the ecstasy!

  62. I love even the dishes with ingredients I can’t get because if nothing else it inspires to improvise and try something new that day that might channel the recipe you share. Yum, now I’m on the hunt for yeast in my little town here in Mexico (easier said than done!). :)

  63. THANK YOU!!!! Usually, I get a ton of fiddleheads and ramps (and asparagus and mushrooms) for Passover. They make for wonderful crepes (potato-starch) and side dishes and potato toppings. Sautee those things in butter and I’m good, no sense of deprivation at all.
    But it was early this year. And I haven’t been to the produce store in a few weeks. And I FORGOT about ramps until now.

  64. No idea if ramps are available in the UK but I love this blog/website – drooling over the photos and so admiring the text. Inspirational.

  65. The name ramps is one of the many dialectical variants of the English word ramson, a common name of the European bear leek (Allium ursinum), a broad-leaved species of garlic much cultivated and eaten in salads.Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary (1904) lists as variants rame, ramp, ramps, rams, ramsden, ramsey, ramsh, ramsies, ramsy, rommy, and roms, mostly from northern England and Scotland.

  66. Nothing green here. We’re still getting snow in Wyoming, but I learned about a new vegetable today! Not sure I would rememeber it if I ever saw it on a menu, but there you have it.

  67. I know, I know. We’re talking ramps here. But I need to interject.i just made your blueberry muffins and if the end result is ANYTHING like the batter, well, there’s nothing left to say. Except, maybe, THANK YOU!

  68. I live in the metro Detroit area and am delighted to say I’ve been able to get a small stash of ramps going in the ravine next to my house. My initial stake of them came from a friend’s property in northwest Michigan, where they’re more commonly called “wild leeks.” My favorite thing to do with them is make Potato & Ramp Soup (bacon, ramps, new potatoes, flour, cream or half & half, chicken broth, S&P to taste). Oh, yum! Our spring has been late this year, but my ramps are poking up through the leaf litter and sometime this week I’ll be harvesting a small ration. Hmm, will they be pizza or will they be soup? Can’t lose either way, I’m thinking.

  69. All of the sudden I have no idea how I’ve lived my life without trying ramps! Thanks for the insight, now to hunt some out in Boston….

  70. Perfect timing! My son went with a group to dig ramps this morning and into my inbox pops this recipe! Our church is having their annual Ramp Festival this weekend…guess what I’m making? Thanks so much for posting this!

  71. I love your blog, I love so many of your recipoes. I made this pizza, tasted the ramps–have never been willing to spring for such an outrageous priced over-hyped item. Because I think you know what you are doing, I did. My opinion? This is over-hyped nonsense and after spending nearly $20 for ramps, mozzarella, and whole wheat dough I’m at least glad to know I’ll never do it again. But I’m glad I tried it once.

    1. Andrea — See Comment #94 from Barb, who explains why bottoms are cut off ramps sometimes (and why it’s a good thing.)

      Ellen — I’m sorry it wasn’t to your liking. I would never suggest that someone use an ingredient because it is hyped; again, I understand that they’re talked about a lot but I do in fact cook with them because I find them delicious. As with most ingredients, I understand that not everyone will feel the same. I also had no idea that they could cost so much. Pizza has always been one of my favorite things to make when we don’t want to spend a lot on dinner.

      Just to give you an idea of my budget for this (and it was a budget meal for us): We spent $3.00 ramps (my 8-ounce bundle was $5.99; each pizza requires half) + .50 flour (1.5 cups of a $5.99 bag) + $2.50 for 3 to 4 ounces mozzarella (Trader Joes) + < .50 for 1/2 cup tomato puree + approximately $1 for pecorino romano, garlic and everything else = $7.50 per pizza, and this is on the high end. I'm curious: what's everyone spending on ramps in their area?

  72. p.s…am I the only one now singing “ripping up my rampion my CHAMPION my FAVORITE!” Rapunzel’s mother craved ramps when she was pregnant…yeah I’m probably the only one.

  73. I think us NYCers should get to brag about ramps…. I’ve lost count of all the people (who live in milder climes) that I envy because they have pear/peach/avocado/name-your-citrus trees in their front/back yards. If Manhattanites have to enthuse about some wild (yet delicious) onion to bridge the gap between March and Memorial Day, please–just let us.

  74. The pizza came out of the oven. It is not so great. Would like it with regular toppings. My opinion of ramps stands—not worth any attention.

  75. Yay for ramps season! I need to make a visit to some farmers markets around DC this week to see if I can find some. Those pizzas look really great. I like that you make the crust like I do: in rectangles so they fill up the whole baking sheet.

  76. Ramp, I’ve actually never heard of it. It’s possibly because I’m from Florida and that type of produce doesn’t make it’s way down here? Looks delicious and now I’m curious. :-)

  77. I want to put in a vote for Smitten Kitchen – Everyday. I would love to read about your go to easy, quick and simple recipes. Please write about lazy meatballs and other workhorse, everyday cooking!

  78. Well look at this. I will search my Whole Foods high and low for this healthy green. I hope to one day make people drool over my recipes as much as yours always makes me.

  79. You are a self-reliant dish. I read recipes I would probably never make for your writer’s voice. (I also make plenty of your recipes–my sister and I call your brisket recipe “The Brisket.”)

  80. Thanks for the recipe! I live in Hamburg where the local farmer’s markets have these precious greens for a couple of weeks every spring. The only problem is they CUT OFF THE BOTTOM before they sell them! Bizarre. But at least I have a new recipe to try. Making a ramp pesto is also a popular thing to do here!

  81. Ramp time here in Western NC. Am going to make this immediately. Also want to stress sustainable harvesting as these are not a farm raised crop.

  82. Julia (88) and Heather (118) Ramps are known as wild garlic, ramsons or bear’s grass in the UK. I’ve never seen them for sale but some farmers markets might have them. They can be foraged in most woods around this time of year; you can pick the leaves but it’s illegal to dig up the bulbs. You can also buy seeds online and grow them in a shady part of the garden.

  83. Ever since having to go (kicking and screaming) gluten free, I have pretty much given up on pizza. This may get me to thaw out the frozen gluten free pizza dough I have been ignoring for a while. The toppings just may make the dough halfway decent. Thanks, so much. I love your blog! Also, am I the only one who would be interested in your take on “lazy meatballs”?

  84. Hello,
    I am a huge fan of your blog and I love your book. I tried to translate “ramp” in French (my mothertongue) but I could not find anything.
    I think it is maybe also called wild garlic [Allium Ursinum (or Allium Tricoccum ??)]???

    Can you please enlighten me?? :-)

    I must say that your intensely chocolate sables are just a… aaaaaah…. deeee-licious ! A huge succes at home.

  85. Thanks for pointing me to why foraged ramps should be harvested without their roots, but I’m pretty sure all the farmers selling at the local “Wochenmarkts” here are cultivating their own ramps… but maybe it’s easier for them not to plant anew every year. I’ll try asking again why they do that!

  86. We just pulled these out of the oven. Like 30 minutes ago. And we are miserable (happy) and full. This will be a wonderful addition to our springtime rotation, with the hubs loving to cook this for the guys at the fire dept. :) Thanks!

  87. Oh, we are in Western North Carolina and paid a whole $5.00 for three bunches (one to eat raw while waiting, two bunches for each of the pizzas)
    We used to be able to go and dig our own but most of the properties are now Posted…

  88. I spotted these babies at Union Market, immediately checked your blog, and low and behold – you had already read my mind. Made it tonight and it did not disappoint. We even topped it with an egg in the oven for the last minute or two – a rip on something our local favorite Clinton Hill pizza place does – Speedy Romeo.

  89. I would just like to chime in and say I had never heard of ramps – even though I grew up not far from these hidden treasures! – until a chef friend of mine dragged me to the beautiful mountains of WV to go ramp hunting! It was a gorgeous day spent in the mountains, and alas, our hunting proved to be profitless, but we ended up finding ramps sold at…the local dollar store of all places! Wish I was close to that dollar store now :)

  90. This looks delicious but ramps are really hard to get on the Central Coast in California. I made this with baby leeks, long, long green onions and baby kale as a substitute and it worked well. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  91. This looks incredible! Being in Australia, the epitome of warm climates, I think I might try it with a mixture of spring onions and leeks? Would that work? Trying to find some middle ground. Pink vegetables are so heart achingly beautiful aren’t they?

  92. Thanks for the post, now i know what its called in English! ;p I only know them as Bärlauch and we pick em for Pesto mainly… Just tried using em as Ravioli filling alongside with Quark, Parmesan, cream, egg yellow etc and it was divine…

    btw we always pick em ourselves cos who knows where the sellers are picking from.. its always good to be sure they come from nice forests far from city and pollution

    with love from Zürich

  93. I think this pizza doesn’t even look like the usual concept of pizza pies or square sold with pastries or other baked goods. Anyway, I loved the very oriental look it has, and I can’t help but think this is Korean-inspired! Is it? Thanks!

  94. Deb,

    This looks awesome…I’m on the lookout for ramps but they haven’t shown up in my farmers’ market yet.

    I’ve been steadily plowing my way through the recipes in your book…they are all coming out beautifully! I made the grapefruit poundcake for my office yesterday, and introduced my colleague (a young lady who professes to not be much of a cook) to your website. She proudly came in this morning with the banana crepe cake with butterscotch sauce! Fantastic!

  95. I always get a giggle out of people talking about ramps as this rare, high-end produce, when I remember my family harvesting and eating them in West Virginia. Sometimes we ate them raw with saltines.

    People who have never had them: be aware that they’re strong. And smell. And can make you smell.

  96. Barb — I wanted to ask you more about leaving the roots intact (because as you can see from the photos, that’s not what I’ve been buying). Is it just the hairy ends that should be left in the soil or the onion “bulb” (more of a stalk, but that’s the general area). Please don’t snicker at my lack of knowledge of plant parts. ;)

    Ramp panini — I suggested this as something else delicious to do with them. We had it for dinner tonight (quick, easy meal!) and now I really, really, really must recommend it. We grabbed a ciabatta loaf, some fresh mozzarella (we were at Essex Market yesterday and couldn’t resist either) and I cooked the ramps right as I suggest here. We also added a single slice of proscuitto to each (husband’s request) but it’s not essential. We drizzled a tiny bit of olive oil inside and were I not also cooking for a three year-old (who, miraculously, at his first sandwich) I might have added some pepper flakes. I know that ramps aren’t the most exciting vegetable to a lot of people, but in these two preparations — the pizza and panini — I think everything that’s great about them shines through.

    Lazy meatballs — Okay, soon! True story: I am so weird about cooking and only discussing things in season that I extend it to things that aren’t seasonal, such as meatballs and spaghetti. As in, I was thinking about sharing it, but I had a footnote that it needed to be in either January (cold weather comfort food!) or September (back-to-school/grind easy dinners). But upon request, I will bump it up. :) In case you weren’t already certain that I’m nuts, well, that should settle it.

  97. With regard to seasonal recipes (and lazy meatballs) – don’t forget that you have a global audience! Here in the southern hemisphere a little warm weather comfort food sounds just the thing. 4 degrees (celsius) tonight!

  98. i love how new yorkers go crazy for ramps. i was at union square greenmarket a couple weeks ago at 9am and there was a line waiting for the ramp vendor. i guess i never understood how good they were until i tried them. you are very correct in saying that after a long winter, we new yorkers (or anyone dealing with frigid temps for more than half the year) will take anything that’s green!

  99. This gives me an idea of what to do with the 3 bunches of scallions my husband brought home from the store (grocery list said “3 shallots”). About a green to pair them with: unfortunately, I’m allergic to spinach – if anyone has a suggestion for another green that would work, I’d love to hear.

  100. Deb… so happy you’re interested in sustainable ramp-ing! (not something you’re born knowing!) I’m not an expert, but my friends are. Here’s a good video http://smnpa.org/. These folks also sell some wonderful ramp products and they are thrilled to educate about sustainable ramp growing practices as this plant is endangered due to over-harvesting in our wnc area. My guess is that the ramps you have purchased in your region were farmed. Which is just dandy. If you purchase ramps with roots, just cut the roots above the growth plate, as in your photo, and plant them in an outside pot (they need a cold winter). Next spring, you’ll have ramps! More good reading by a chef friend here http://www.thefrenchbroad.com/wild-ramps-a-walk-in-the-woods-spring-is-here-2188

  101. All your ramp recipes sound appealing, Deb. Don’t know where to get ramps around here, so thanks for the ideas on subbing certain other veggies (I would have gone straight to leeks without your guidance!).

  102. My husband LOVES ramps. I picked some up locally yesterday and decided to make your pizza recipe. I had tomatoes I put up last Summer so I took one cup and cooked it down to 1/2 to concentrate it’s flavor …. so sweet! I used burrata cheese and it was fantastic! Thanks for the recipe!

  103. Southern Illinois has ramps! Ah So Ill, still surprising me with its abundance of good stuff. I hear they’ll be around for a few more weeks. I did not anticipate being able to make this pizza but I’m thinking I’ll give it a go. If not, they’ll be sauteed with some of those Southern Illinois mushrooms I just picked up as well.

  104. just discovered your website and am so psyched….LOVE ramps and actually make ramp pizza all the time when they are in season and I’m chock full of them…..don’t get jealous, but I live in Vermont and have a huge ramp patch along the river on my property (although I have to brave a bunch of ticks to get them, the only downside…)! We also go foraging for mushrooms and get a ton of them in the woods then. they are the best on pizza and basically everything else–they deserve their rock star status–but will try it your way!

  105. Ramps in western NC are extremely plentiful for this brief season, sold by the bunch, and generally run from $2 to $4 a bunch depending on how far you get them from the farmer and/or how upscale the farmers market is. If you know where to go, you can get 3 bunches for $5. No idea how much they weigh, but I would guess somewhere between 1/2 and 1 pound.

    A few things I’ve done with them:
    – add to pimento cheese,
    – sautee and add to omelets,
    – put in food processor with one block cream cheese and 2 tbsp. sour cream for a delicious spread,
    – add one, finely chopped, to any stir-fry for a big kick of garlic and onion flavor.

  106. You had me hunting for ramps and found plenty at our farmers market in NoVA today. So far, I have used them to stuff and season wild porgies fish, also in lieu of the spinach in your latest egg/spinach toast and they are slated for this yummy ramp pizza tomorrow. Thank you for the inspiration. I have never had ramps before and they are relevation!

  107. A distinction – Ramps have flat leaves, wild garlic/garlic grass has round leaves. The early garlic-like stuff springing up in your yard is probably garlic grass. Milder, I think, and won’t give you the full ramp taste. Great smell when you hit it with the lawn mower though –

    Garlic grass is always the first green thing in the spring, and cows turned out to pasture love it. Gives milk a faint oniony taste, not common now that dairy practices have changed.

  108. I have never seen ramps before down here, but yesterday I saw them at the farmers market and jumped. We made this pizza and it was amazing. Crossing my fingers I’ll find more next weekend!

  109. I shrieked for joy when I saw ramps at my local co-op today! Deb, I have two words for you: Ramp. Pesto. Make it, you’ll love it so much!

  110. I made this pizza tonight. A few things: I have never taken a picture of food that I made, but that was my first thought upon seeing this pizza. Second, I made the crust with half white flour/half cornmeal, and it turned out perfectly and much better than many I’ve had in restaurants. Finally, I was not prepared for how few ingredients were in the sauce. I was very close to adding in onion, basil, etc., but I stopped, thinking, no, just give it a go this time and then make changes. It was so good. I’m really blown away by how easy this was: I can officially make pizza and am planning my week accordingly.

  111. Looks delish – and how timely! I just picked up a package of ramsons yesterday (‘baerlauch’ here in Austria). I’d just been told how here in Vienna, it’s always been very popular among students to head out to the Vienna woods, pick a mess of the greens, and survive on them with pasta as cheap eats. And ramps are considered so high-end in the States lately!

    Many thanks as always, Deb!

  112. Made this last night on the grill and it was great! Used the quick dough recipe from the book and was amazed that pizza really is doable on a week night. Didn’t have fresh mozz and didn’t feel like going to the store, so used some this slices of fontina which worked just fine. Next time I might add a little bacon. I know that’s corrupting a perfectly delicious vegetarian dish, but i’m pregnant and this baby wants meat!

  113. I’m glad you’re interested in sustainable ramp-harvesting! While it’s great that Americans are going nuts over a vegetable for a change, I’m definitely worried about foodies being careful stewards of the earth and it’s crazy that we might soon overeat ramps to the point that they’re unsustainable in the wild. Unfortunately, I think you’re unlikely to see just the ramp greens at a farmer’s market (I never did in NYC or in Indiana). It’s disheartening that even locavore groups don’t always have the best food practices.

  114. I am totally spoiled, I live in the Netherlands and Ramson grow wild in the woods across the road, they are in full bloom at the moment so I am picking the leaves on a regular basis, the flowers are also delicate and beautiful on the plate.

    I was thinking of an alternative, Ramson is known here and in the UK as wild garlic, what I do is plant cloves of garlic in a pot and when the green shoots are long enough I cut them and sprinkle them on salads, they are mild in taste but a lovely flavour so if you can’t get Ramson this would be similar.

    I was introduced to The Smitten Kitchen through a friend, wonderful recipes thank you.

  115. My co-op had ramps (Minnesota). They were $3.49 for a bunch of about a half dozen. This was the first time I’d seen them and the first way we tried them. This pizza is amazing. I used some mozzarella, which was good, but the pecorino romano really takes this to another level.

  116. Our farmers markets here in west Michigan just opened today and one tiny stand actually had a few bunches of ramps so I grabbed them and knew exactly what I was going to make. This pizza was wonderful! The ramp flavor was so great! Thanks for giving me something new to search for at the farmers market!

  117. This sounds yummy!! Would it be overwhelming to have more kinds of cheeses? And if no what kinds? Anyone have ideas for a herb that might be nice with this? or one more veggie that will cook at the same pace as the greens? Sorry for all the questions, cheers!

  118. I made it today! With thanks to your ingenuity, Fairway’s fresh hand pulled mozzarella and Mountain Sweet Berry ramps, this is INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS!!!!

  119. Thanks so much for this recipe!!!! I have a wild patch growing in the woods past my back yard, and needed some inspiration on what to do with them!!!

  120. Just made this and it was fantastic! Pizza is almost gone already. The ramps are so delicious, mozzarella would just be a distraction. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  121. Round these parts (upstate NY), they sell them at the farmer’s market in these giant bundles. I can never use them all up befoer they get shriveled and gross, so one year I chopped them up and froze them, raw, like you would diced onion. Worked great, and I had diced ramps for *ages* longer than their season with no wastage.

    (I get indigestion and have to be careful how much oniony/garlicky ingredients I add to my food.)

  122. Thanks to Mary Ann (78) for the explanation about ramps in Quebec!
    And also, I too would love to read your lazy, everyday, workweek recipes! (Even out of season!)

  123. In Chicago ramps grow rampant in our forest preserves. Although illegal, nothing will stop my mother from picking them by the bushels every spring. She was stopped by police twice. Nothing will stop her though from obtaining at least five plastic bags full of ramps.

  124. I have had a fascination with ramps for the past 5 years. Every spring I see them scattered throughout “foodie” media…from Food Network to Cooking Channel, Bon Appetite to Food and Wine. Yet, despite living in the middle of Nor Cal ag land I have never come across a ramp. That is until this weekend. I was in San Francisco for my (gasp, horror) 30th birthday and was making my requisite pilgrimage to the CUESA Farmer’s Market and Ferry Building; to my delight, ramps were still available. They not only survived the night in a mini hotel fridge, but the 2-hour drive home huddled in a cooler. When I got home I immediately whipped up this recipe…holy crap! This is pure, perfect, deliciousness. No muss, no fuss, no $15 bottle of truffle oil (hallelujah). Just plain good. Thank you. You never steer me wrong.

    Can I ask you for a favor? As a recognized “celebrity foodie” you have clout that we humble dilettantes cannot hope to wield. Thus armed, can you extract the recipe for the appetizer Brussel Sprouts from the Broken Record in Daly City? I would be eternally grateful!

  125. Hello. I love this blog. I just harvested a ton of wild leeks. I think I read in this entry that the leeks can be frozen but now I can’t find where you said that. Can they be frozen? How do you recommend preparing them for the freezer? Thanks!

  126. I made the pizza exactly as you described and it was amazing! Thanks for another great recipe :)

    P.S. Spent $5 on ramps at a farmer’s market in Washington, D.C. Loved meeting you when you visited on the tour!

  127. Around how many ramps are in half a bundle? I want to make this, but would likely go pick my own (can’t get any fresher!)! Thanks! :)

  128. Dinette – in Pittsburgh also has an amazing Ramp Pizza right now. I love ramps but can’t find them in SF. I’ll the green onion/spinach combo…

  129. Stephanie — I can’t remember; I know they range in size so I always go by weight. If you want to drive yourself bonkers, you can look at the ramps in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th photos. I used that amount for two pizzas. :)

  130. Luckily I have been able to find ramps at the local Rivermarket here in Kansas City for the past two weekends, and I was psyched to try this recipe! (I got two bundles for $5, so tomorrow is ramp risotto). I had one hefty slice of leftover bacon in the fridge, so I diced it up and sauteed the ramps in the bacon grease and used a premixed cheese of parm, pecorino romano and asiago. (I used your pizza dough recipe from the cookbook too!) I have a feeling the bacon was a totally awesome idea. But it by no means overshadowed those tasty ramps. Deb, since I moved to KC I have been blown away by so many amazing eateries and all the high-quality local products. Its a well-kept secret but there are tons of unassuming foodies here! Come visit, we will show you a good time! :)

  131. I made this the other night, and to risk being attacked by ramp-lovers everywhere, I don’t see why ramps are so prized. Like always, the pizza dough from this site was fantastic, the plain tomato sauce is perfect and although the ramps were lovely, they were not as incredible as the internet would lead me to believe. I do have to say that I love using both the white and greens, and actually preferred the greens. But I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to find ramps again, although maybe I’ll give them one more shot in risotto because I do love risotto.

  132. My friends and I foraged a TON of ramps from a local park a couple weeks ago. Some got the pickle, most went into soup prepared very much like your pizza – sauteed stems and wilted greens, plus some other good stuff. I’m glad you’re singing ramps praises because they’re awesome! if not a little stinky.

  133. But there are so many delicious slices, which is the best pizza. We made the pizza and it was delicious. Looking forward to trying some other recipes on the site.i am also like this slice pizzas available every pizza shop.

  134. I am so glad to see someone talking about ramps! I can remember as a child digging for ramps with my family. In West Virginia the ramp gets a LOT of attention. It even has it’s own festival! This is definitely a different spin on the ramp than the fried potatoes with ramps I am used to. I can’t wait to try it!

  135. As a West Virginia girl I’ve been digging these from the woods since I was a wee little child! I love ramps in any form, so I’ll definitely have to try the pizza. *Fingers crossed* I find some this weekend!

  136. Ramps have started to sprout up in the woods near our home in Vermont. Late cold winter may help. Will try your pizza recipe, and plan to make some pasta ramp pesto – maybe some of which can be frozen for a summer break from basil…

  137. I’m LOL because I just returned home from the Dane County Farmer’s Market with no less than ramps, nettles, and morels (among other yummy spring things) and came to this blog looking for a recipe! And the risotto sounds perfect…game on!

  138. I made this when you first posted and clearly liked it enough to make it again this season, but (BUT!) I don’t remember it being as spectacular as it was last night. My husband and I are obsessed now. In fact, I make a rip off of Motorino’s Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta Pie and this has officially usurped it as our fav. Decided against adding the mozz, glad I did. Only thing I take issues with in the recipe is that it feeds “two hungry adults”, ahem.

  139. We just finished our Ramp Pizza. Am I ever glad we didn’t miss out on this Spring Feast! This will be one we prepare on a annual basis! We just used your “go to” crust recipe. It was so good…I’ll have to buy your book to try the other! Your tips about the cheeses was very helpful. We tried half with fresh mozzeralla and half with just the sprinkle of Pecorino. We will continue that too, both great in their own way. Just a FANTASTIC well to celebrate the ramp!

  140. I adore this pizza, but I made three (!) pizza doughs yesterday and none of them worked. I tried both recipes you have in the book, and each one was too bready and couldn’t be stretched out – I had to use a dough from TJs. Any ideas on what went wrong? I’m flummoxed!