What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Table Food: Unforgettable Wild Ramp Bacon Chowder! For American hunter-gatherers, as well as European foragers of gourmet plants, wild ramps are as coveted as the elusive morel mushrooms. Since the leafy garlic bulbs are popular with curiosity seekers, in addition to critters of the woods, the quest for a fragrant “bouquet” becomes a challenge between man and beast. Who will get there first to reap the wild-growing delicacy? Perhaps both have their secret stomping grounds. I invite you to stick around awhile to sample the wide variety of ways to enjoy wild ramps.
UNFORGETTABLE WILD RAMP BACON CHOWDER
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
1/2 cup ramps roughly chopped, bulbs and greens
1 potato, skin on and diced
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Crumbled bacon, for garnish
Charred ramp greens, for garnish
In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, sauté ramps in bacon drippings until soft. Add diced potatoes, chicken broth, seasoned salt, and garlic and herb seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked thoroughly. Reduce heat to low. Add coconut milk, cheddar cheese, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, but do not boil. Gently heat for 30 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes to thicken. Ladle into soup bowls; garnish with crumbled bacon and charred ramp greens.