Goat Cheese and Wild Ramp (or Green Onion) Bruschetta
Wild ramps (also know as wild leeks) are getting a lot of press lately. That’s because every spring locavores hit the woods in search of the telltale broad flat leaves after a long barren winter.
But foraging–as much fun as it can be–still intimidates me. What if I harvested something poisonous? Ramps do bear some resemblance to lily of the valley, which is toxic, and that had been enough to stop me cold.
Until I got a phone call from my sister. A friend of hers had taught her how to identify them and she had found several patches–did I want to join her?
Ramps grow wild in the spring in woodland areas, often sharing habitat with Trilliums (which are also poisonous). They have a garlicky – oniony taste and an aroma that will knock your socks off. Pulled up outright or coaxed out with a dandelion digger, they reveal a distinctive scallion-like root.
My next dilemma was what to do with them. Ramps can be used interchangeably with green onions and even their leaves are delicious (though the reddish stems may need to be discarded if older and tough). Since I had extra roma tomatoes, my oldest suggested bruschetta. Bruschetta with wild ramps… and perhaps some goat cheese?
Want to give this a try and don’t have any ramps? A combination of minced garlic and green onions (including some of the green) should do a nice job of duplicating the sweet-spicy flavor.
Goat Cheese and Wild Ramp Bruschetta
- 6 plum tomatoes, diced
- 6 ramps, white & green parts, chopped (OR 1 t minced garlic & 2 bunches of chopped scallions, white & some green)
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 t fresh thyme (or fresh or dried herb of your choice)
- 3-4 oz goat cheese (a 3.5 oz crotin works perfectly)
- 1 loaf of French bread
- Olive oil for brushing bread
1. Combine diced tomatoes, chopped ramps (or minced garlic & chopped scallions), vinegar, thyme (or other herb), salt and pepper.
2. Add pinches of goat cheese and stir to combine until just mixed. Some of the goat cheese may dissolve but some should remain in clumps.
3. Slice french bread and brush with olive oil. Broil (watching like a hawk since it may start slowly but can burn in a flash) until lightly toasted.
4. Top bread with tomato mixture and serve.
- Violet Jelly to Celebrate Spring
- Carrot Oat Bran Muffins (with Dates & Walnuts)
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Inger, this is a perfect way to use the wild leeks. Thank you for the suggestion. Was just pondering going out and foraging some this week. You’ve provided some added inspiration.
I thought of you when I heard frost warnings in the UP recently. But I guess the plus side is the wild leeks should still be good!
I have never thought of putting green onions on bruschetta! What a great idea – since i never seem to know what to do with green onions beyond using them in stir fries.
I chop them and use them to top salads too. But I do seem to have a lot of them when the CSA season starts, now that I think of it. I will have to try in a stir fry–I usually use regular onions!
Really, you never tried it in a stir-fry? It’s a staple for me! 😉
Strange but true 😉 !
Your bruschetta looks lovely. What a great way to serve these ingredients!
Thanks Beth, I was indeed lucky that what I had on hand came together so well!
Boy, would I love to try this, but I don’t think ramps grow around here. I will have to check! Your bruschetta looks and sounds so wonderful!
We still had a lot of ramps left this weekend but they are starting to look past their prime, so perhaps check next year if you don’t see anything. Or try the garlic and green onion version 😉
Too hungry to look at those photos for long. We don’t get ramps here.
I would guess not! Since my daughter just graduated I am going to miss her “foraging” for oranges and rosemary in Arizona.
What a unique type of bruschetta! I looove it!
I have similar fears about foraging! It’d be fun to do with someone who knows what they’re doing though 🙂
You wouldn’t believe all the research I did to make sure I was identifying and handling wild grapes correctly since I didn’t have a guide on those. In search of the wild lemon though–that has a ring…
Thanks for the Ramps post; I’ve read about them but never knew what to do with them. Your recipe sounds wonderful.
My sister grilled hers which she said was delicious also. I hope you get the chance to try some.
What a great looking bruschetta idea!
Thanks–it was my first bruschetta, but won’t be my last!
Okay, I’m back. I had to Pin this to my Goat Cheese board, lol…Now for the serious stuff. That Bruschetta looks amazing!!! Did you come up with this recipe yourself? I LOVE it! I think I have ramps in the garden but people around here tell me they don’t grow here. I think I’ll pick some just to see. They are probably weeds, perhaps toxic.
Thank you so much for sharing, Inger…
Do you have Trilliums? I think those are a marker for the right environment, though ours are gone for the season since last weekend (though the ramps are still here). A goat cheese board is a great idea! I’ll have to check that out!
I’ve tried Trilliums a few times but for some reason they just don’t seem to take. I guess ramps are out too!
I am learning from many people how lucky we are to have them!
we have a wild ramp festival here up on a mountain top. i’ve never been, but i understand it gets pretty exciting, with a ramp-eating contest and lots and lots of bad breath. 🙂
That sounds like a wild event Grace!