Jude called me on his way home tonight and alluded to the fact that he had a *very* special ingredient for tonight's dinner...Immediately I knew it was ramps! RAMPS! First of the season! And I really mean first. The only farmer at the Union Square Farmer's Market with ramps yet this season only had a little bit and gave them away this morning to The Food Network for a show they were doing and didn't have any out for sale...but Jude got lucky this afternoon and, while they were talking about whether or not he'd be able to have enough for the restaurant by Saturday, he slipped Jude two bunches! So I'm feeling REALLY good right now about having some of the only ramps in NYC tonight!
So there was a generous use of exclamation points in that last paragraph. But I stand by my hearty enthusiasm. Ramps are, hands-down, my favorite vegetable. If you haven't ever eaten a ramp, please do so immediately. A ramp is like a cross between a garlic, an onion, and a leek. They are only harvested and eaten fresh for a short period in the spring (although you can pickle them for future use--pickled ramps are delicious). Ramps are so pungent. We put them up to Ruby's nose and she was curious at first, and then a little bit offended by the big smell!