This Wild Leek (Ramp) Saag is just as rich and buttery as my Sarson ka Saag, only it has more of a garlicky flavor. Funny thing is, I didn’t use any garlic in this recipe. The main ingredient: wild ramps.
If you don’t know what wild leeks aka ramps are, you’re not alone. I only learned about them after moving to West Virginia – where ramps are highly celebrated (literally, celebrated – there’s an annual ramp festival). Ramps are wild onions that look kind of like scallions – only they have large, flat leaves at the top. They taste like a cross between onions and garlic – and you can use them just like you would onions, leeks or scallions. I’ve been using ramps in everything lately: ramp burgers, stir-fries, frittatas. Recently, I used ramps in place of garlic and onions in my crispy Indian okra recipe – it was fantastic.
Ramps grow in the wild but, you might be able to find them at your local farmer’s market (here’s a map of where they grow). Roby and I were lucky enough to go hunting for ramps in the woods with our friends Hayley and Ray of Health Starts in the Kitchen (here’s a picture of us girls before the trip). They took us out to hunt for morel mushrooms (we found SO many! Morels are my new favorite mushroom) and afterward, Ray took us to what seemed like the middle of the forest – a secret spot that he and his family have been using for years – and there were ramps everywhere!
If you can’t get access to ramps, no worries – just try my Sarson ka Saag recipe. You can read through the comments and see the different greens that people have been using (dandelion, kale, radish greens, etc). If you have more ramps than you know what to do with… well, then this recipe is for you. I use the bulbs as the onion base for the recipe and I use the leaves for the greens. The only part of the ramp that I don’t use for this dish are the stems – you can save those for other dishes to enjoy throughout the week.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy ramps?
- 2-3 lbs ramp leaves (or as many as you want - they really cook down and you can adjust the spices at the end)
- 3 tbs Grassfed Organic Ghee, divided
- 2 cups of ramp bulbs (I used my dry measure cup) OR 1 onion
- 2 inch ginger, minced
- 1 serrano peppers, minced (remove seeds/rib if you don't like it spicy!)
- 2 tsp Fine Sea Salt, adjust to taste
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ½ tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder (or a little less if using cayenne)
- ½ tsp freshly ground Black Peppercorns
- In a food processor, puree your ramp bulbs.
- Add the ramp/onion puree, ginger, serrano pepper, spices and 2 tbs of ghee to the crockpot and mix well. Set it on high for an hour.
- While that’s cooking, grab a very large pot. Add the ramp leaves to the large pot - then fill with water (do not put lid on pot!*).
- Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain leaves and let them cool.
- Once cool, place leaves in a food processor and blend to your desired consistency.
- Place the blended leaves into your crock pot, reduce heat to low, put lid on and cook for 1.5 hours.
- After 1.5 hours, add 1 tbs ghee, garam masala and pinch of kasoori/fenugreek leaves. Mix well and let this cook for another hour on low.
- Serve this saag with a heaping spoonful of ghee on top!