It’s the wild leek that everyone’s talking about. 

Ricotta Crostini with Pickled Ramps and Crisp Pancetta

It’s the wild leek that everyone’s talking about. Thanks to their short harvest season and pungent flavor, ramps have gained cult-like status in farmers’ markets across the country. If you happen to score a bunch before chefs snatch them all up, here’s what you should know.

Where: Ramps are native to North America and can be found everywhere from the American South to Canada.

When: April through June.

What to look for: Small, firm bulbs with broad, bright green leaves. The roots should still be attached.

Flavor profile: Ramps’ flavor falls somewhere between onions and garlic, with an earthy, slightly funky aroma. The bulbs are more pungent than the leaves.

Health benefits: Ramps are packed with vitamins C and A. They are also a good source for chromium, a mineral that promotes healthy brain function.

How to Eat Them: Ramps are super versatile. Prepare them by removing the roots and giving them a quick rinse, then try them raw with just a sprinkle of salt and a smear of good butter, like you would radishes. They’re also fantastic pickled and served on toast with creamy ricotta or used as a seasonal garnish for a martini. Ramps can be sautéed in butter and tossed with pasta or quickly roasted until the greens are just crisp. Like many things in life, they’re also terrific on pizza.