Ramps are wild leeks indigenous to North America. Both the white bulbs and the green leaves of the ramp are edible. In some cases either part can have a purple tint.
Ramps grow wild along riverbanks and in marshy forestland. They are particularly plentiful in West Virginia, where an annual festival celebrates their season. However, they also grow unnoticed in many other parts of the country, and are now foraged as far northwest as the Columbia River Valley.
Ramp bulbs resemble scallions in texture and garlic in flavor. They are particularly good sauteed, lightly salted and served alongside beef, chicken, or game. They also pair very well with wild mushrooms, particularly morels. The leaves are less pungent than the bulbs, and can be used in a variety of ways. They can be sauteed quickly, with or without other greens, chifonaded and used as an herb wherever you would use chives and garlic, or added to potato puree, where they impart a green color and a wonderful flavor. Because their peak season lasts for only a few weeks in the spring, ramps are often pickled for later use.
Another favorite way of serving whole ramps is tempura style--try whole ramps this way and you will never go back to onion rings.