CLARKSBURG, WV (WBOY) — So you bought ramps at a West Virginia festival, or from a gatherer, or picked some yourself, but now what? Similar to a green onion, ramps are a West Virginia delicacy that can be used in a number of dishes as a substitute for onions, but first-time rampers might not know exactly where to start.

You have ramps… now what?

Fresh ramps, which are usually picked in May and June, are strong smelling and can be overwhelming. If you want to prepare a ramps dish for company or a date, we recommend not cutting or eating the raw ramps right before they will arrive. Cutting fresh ramps can fill your entire kitchen/home with a strong smell somewhere between onion and garlic.

If you buy or collect ramps, consider cutting them into useable pieces and then storing them in sealed baggies in either the fridge or the freezer. This will keep the smell from taking over your living space.

Recipes

Pickled Ramps

If you want to preserve your ramps, pickling is another alternative to freezing them, or the pickles can be served as a state alone. One recipe even said that the brine makes a great salad dressing. Looking for a sweet and spicy snack or addition to meals? This recipe takes only four ingredients.

Ramperoni Rolls

Looking for the most West Virginia food out there? This might be it. A classic West Virginia pepperoni roll is the delicious sausage wrapped in bread dough and baked, sometimes with cheese. Add some ramps to the inside of the roll and you get another layer of authentic West Virginia flavor.

There are plenty of West Virginians who believe they make the best pepperoni rolls; you can choose whether to use stick, slice or ground pepperoni. To prevent a feud among our north central West Virginia Italian population, we’ll let you choose which recipe to try: Search West Virginia pepperoni roll recipe.

Ramps Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? What if you added ramps, morel mushrooms and eggs to it? Odds are you either just said ‘ew’ or ‘oo’, in response to that combo. If the gatherer’s dream pizza sounds like something you’d enjoy, you can find the recipe here. It serves two people and takes an estimated hour to make.

Spaghetti and Ramps

Deep fried ramps sign at Mason-Dixon Ramp Fest in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania circa 2010 (Courtesy: MrBill3 via WikimediaCommons)

Ramps and cheese… name a better duo. This pasta dish posted to a ramps blog is simple, fast, only has five ingredients and serves four people.

Fried Ramps

Think Bloomin’ Onion, but West Virginia style. To make buttermilk fried ramp sticks, you will need buttermilk, flour, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and vegetable oil. The breaded ramps only need to be fried for a few minutes and are best served with a lemon wedge. Read the full recipe here.

Ramp Potato Soup

Potatoes and pork are considered some of the best accompaniments to ramps. Ramps can be added to your favorite potato soup recipe in place of onions or garlic or simply added for some extra flavor. If you’re looking for a soup recipe based around ramps, this one-pot recipe serves four to six people.

Ramp Ribs

For the grillmaster, ramps also make a great marinade, especially for pork. This recipe uses an entire pound of ramps, along with garlic, vinegar and habanero peppers. Directions on how to bake your ramps ribs can also be found in the recipe.

Ramp Jam

Not exactly a condiment or “jam” as you probably are imaging, ramp jam is good in a variety of uses, from an addition to a cheese board to a flavoring and thickening agent in gravy and other sauces. “The ramp jam’s possibilities in the kitchen are only limited by your imagination,” said the recipe.

Endless ramps recipes can also be found online or in this ramps cookbook which is available on Amazon.