We are squarely in ramp season and one of my favorite ways to enjoy this aromatic wild onion is in this brothy beans with ramps recipe. You’re going to love these brothy beans with ramps – easy to prepare and tastes amazing with crusty bread. So, what is a ramp and why are ramps expensive? If you’ve never had one, this post will tell you a little about them!
WARNING: I know I like to commit to keeping my blog posts pretty short but I absolutely love ramp season, so this post is a little lengthy! Use the “jump to recipe” button to skip ahead my education on my very favorite spring onion!
Ramps have a very short season in the spring, so if you happen to see them available at the grocery store or farmer’s market, be sure to buy a bundle of them because they might not be there next week. My dad grew up in West Virginia and I remember having these for the first time when we visited family. They typically served them over fried potatoes or with schnitzel.
Here’s what you need to know about ramps and ramp season:
- What is a ramp? A ramp is a wild onion part of the allium family (you might see them called wild leeks). It has a very tender green leaf (which is edible) and a white and red root (also edible). The root tends to be more pungent than the leaves.
- Ramp season is just a few weeks, from late April until early June. My dad grew up in West Virginia and he always recommends the earlier ramps over the later season ramps. The ones you get later in the season tend to be much stronger and less mild.
- Why are ramps expensive? Ramps are expensive because they have to be foraged, and you can’t find them just anywhere since they typically grow in very moist soil (which is why they’re always so dirty!) They’re also extremely delicate and difficult to wash. I’ve seen ramp prices vary from a flat rate of $1 per ramp up to $20 per pound.
Brothy Beans with Ramps:
This recipe for brothy beans works SO well. You’ll dice up the stem of the ramp and sauté it to add that garlicky, oniony flavor to the broth but you’ll also use the delicate green leaves and simply wilt them (as you would spinach). The finished product is a garlicky beans and greens that looks so beautiful.
What if I can’t find ramps? Can I still make this recipe?
Yes! Instead of ramps, use a mix of shallots and garlic (1 shallot and 6 cloves garlic). For the leafy green, simply use spinach or arugula. It won’t taste exactly the same but it will still be a quick, delicious dinner.
What else can I do with this recipe?
I think you will absolutely love this dish. It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy two things that I love the most: brothy beans and rich, garlicky flavors. It’s so perfect for a quick weeknight dinner and you can serve it with warm, crusty bread or even over pasta.
If you want to make this recipe even more hearty, add some diced potatoes or diced sweet potatoes to the broth and allow it to simmer until fork-tender. You may need to add more liquid if you add potatoes. You could even serve these brothy beans over polenta or mashed potatoes. Either way, it’s sure to be a hit in your house.
Spring is one of my favorite seasons because I absolutely love all the fresh fruits and vegetables that come in. I would love to know what your favorite spring vegetable is and how you like to prepare it. You can tell me in the comments or send me a message on Instagram!
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Brothy Beans with Ramps
- Wide pot
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12 ramps trimmed and washed
- 1 shallot peeled and minced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3-4 cups vegetable stock depending on how brothy you want it to be
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the Ramps:
- Cut the white and red stems from the leaves of the ramps. Set the leaves aside. Mince the stems.
Start the Brothy Beans:
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium heat until very hot. Add the minced shallot and minced ramp stems and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the crushed red pepper (more or less to taste) and stir for 1-2 minutes more.
- Add the butter to the pan. Once melted and frothy, add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Simmer the Brothy Beans:
- Add the drained beans and the tomatoes to the both and season with the thyme, salt, pepper, and more crushed red pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season to your preferences with salt, pepper, dry thyme, and more crushed red pepper. If the liquid seems too brothy, reduce longer. If it doesn't seem brothy enough, add a bit more stock.
Wilt the Ramps:
- Right before serving, stir the ramps into the broth and cook for 1-2 minutes until just wilted. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle the beans into bowls and serve the wilted ramps on top. Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!