This April 11, 2016 photo shows pasta salad with chicken, green olives and ramp vinaigrette in Concord, N.H. Ramps, wild leeks that are unable to be cultivated, are one of the first vegetables to appear in farmers markets and on chefs' menus after a winter of tubers and citrus. (AP Photo/J.M. Hirsch)

This April 11, 2016 photo shows pasta salad with chicken, green olives and ramp vinaigrette in Concord, N.H. Ramps, wild leeks that are unable to be cultivated, are one of the first vegetables to appear in farmers markets and on chefs' menus after a winter of tubers and citrus. (AP Photo/J.M. Hirsch)

This amazing pasta salad will turn ramp haters into lovers

  • By KATIE WORKMAN
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2016 5:56pm
  • LifeFood

On the surface, ramps are a lovely harbinger of spring, wild leeks that are unable to be cultivated, hence part of their mystique (think truffles).

They also are one of the first vegetables to appear in farmers markets and on chefs’ menus after a winter of tubers and citrus.

They essentially taste like a very garlicky leek or scallion. But the attention they’ve had has put them firmly on a pedestal, seeming out of reach of mere home cooks.

At the moment, some people still think it’s cool to worship the mighty ramp, and others pronounce ramps “yesterday.” I think the very idea of fashion and a member of the onion family in one sentence is just weird. I also think the flavor is fantastic, and I love that you can use the whole thing, stem to stern.

But what I think is even better is the fact that I can drag my kids into a wooded area in Connecticut where we have discovered that ramps grow rampant (sorry, I had to).

So, I will let the foodies duke it out. I will just continue to prod my children into the trees and derive a perfect shiver of pleasure from cooking with something we pulled up from the ground and didn’t even plant.

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 8

1 pound dried penne

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

About 40 ramps, cleaned, roots trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (including leaves)

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 cup roughly chopped green olives

1/2 cup packed torn fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, then rinse under cool water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the ramps and saute for 10 minutes, or until very tender. Set aside.

Once the ramps are cooked, in a food processor combine a little more than half of the ramps, the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, the vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

In a large bowl combine the cooked ramps, cooked and cooled pasta, vinaigrette, chicken, olives and basil. Toss well to combine thoroughly.

Nutrition information per serving: 550 calories; 220 calories from fat (40 percent of total calories); 24 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 50 mg cholesterol; 1070 mg sodium; 53 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 26 g protein.

Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, “Dinner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cookbook.”

More in Life

Homer students pose after their performance from the musical Shrek on Saturday after the three-day Broadway Bootcamp theater workshop with director Jim Anderson in October 2023, in Homer, Alaska. (Emilie Springer/ Homer News)
Intensive Broadway Bootcamp offered in Homer in August

During the five-day bootcamp, youth participants will work with top performing artist educators to develop leadership skills through theater arts.

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Young actors rehearse their production during a drama camp put on by the Kenai Performers in their theater near Soldotna on Thursday.
Kenai Performers’ drama camp trains young actors, puts on ‘super’ show

When they arrived, most of the actors had never performed before, but in just a week they’ll put on a real show

This 1961 drawing of the Circus Bar, east of Soldotna, was created by Connie Silver for a travel guide called Alaska Highway Sketches. The bar was located across the Sterling Highway from land that was later developed into the Birch Ridge Golf Course.
A violent season — Part 1

Like many such drinking establishments, Good Time Charlies usually opened late and stayed open late

Dillon Diering and Sarah Overholt dance while the Tyson James Band performs during the 45th Annual Moose Pass Summer Solstice Festival in Moose Pass, Alaska, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘We’re about community’

Moose Pass throws 45th annual Summer Solstice Festival

This summer salad is sweet and refreshing, the perfect accompaniment to salty meat and chips. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Fueling happy memories

Fresh salad accompanies an outdoors Father’s Day meal

File
Minister’s Message: The way life will be

“Is this the way it was all meant to be? Is this what God had in mind when He created us?”

Photo provided by Art We There Yet
José Luis Vílchez and Cora Rose with their retired school bus-turned-art and recording studio.
‘It’s all about people’

Traveling artists depict Kenai Peninsula across mediums

Promotional Photo courtesy Pixar Animation/Walt Disney Studios
In Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2,” Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale) and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira) aren’t sure how to feel when Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke) shows up unexpectedly. Directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen, “Inside Out 2” releases only in theaters Summer 2024.
On the Screen: ‘Inside Out 2’ a bold evolution of Pixar’s emotional storytelling

Set only a year after the events of the first film, “Inside Out 2” returns viewers to the inner workings of pre-teen Riley

Calvin Fair, in his element, on Buck Mountain, above Chief Cove on Kodiak Island, in October 1986. His hunting partner and longtime friend Will Troyer captured this image while they were on one of the duo’s annual deer-hunting trips. (Photo courtesy of the Fair Family Collection)
The Road Not Taken: A tribute to my father’s career choice

For the first 40 years of my life, I saw my father professionally as a dentist. Period.

Most Read