Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring Is Ramping Up

Spring has finally taken root in Northeast Ohio, and with the warmer weather comes the start of ramp season. Ramps are wild plants that resemble scallions in flavor and cooking application as well as appearance. Their thin, white bulbous roots can be used just like garlic or onions — sauteed or in pestos, for instance — while the purplish-red stems and green leaves are excellent when cooked lightly like spinach.

But while ramps can be found easily in wooded parkland such as the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation, picking them from public land is a big no-no.

If you aren't lucky enough to find them in your own backyard, don't despair: This Saturday, April 25 is the annual Ramp Up Peninsula festival hosted on the grounds of Hale Farm and Village from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. It's just $3 (children 12 and under free), and vendors — including Fresh Fork Market, Pope's Kitchen, Sow Food, Spice of Life, Wok 'n' Roll Food Truck, Red Lotus Foods and Grabham's Candies, among others — will feature the ramp in everything from pizzas to fritters to desserts.

Plus, enjoy live music, educational presentations by professional foragers and a ramp-off competition at 3 p.m.

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