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12 Recipes for That Fast-Fleeting Early Spring Produce

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Hear that sound? It's the first produce of spring, wriggling and fighting its way through the tough winter soil, trying to break out into the sun and fresh air with all of its might. First to lead the charge: ramps, fiddleheads, and morels.

Consider yourself the early bird, and call these quirky plants the worms: Because their appearance at the market is so limited, it's an anticipated and cherished part of early spring for cooks of all ilk. So be ready to snatch them up while you still can.

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These earthy treasures can be hard to find, but lucky for you, we gathered up as many bunches of 'em as our arms could carry, and dropped in them in our Shop. Each come in 2-pound bundles—plenty of produce for your early spring fix!

And let not ramps intimidate, fiddleheads befuddle, or morels flummox...

Morels, fiddleheads, and ramps just showin' off.
Morels, fiddleheads, and ramps just showin' off. Photo by Julia Gartland

Each only needs a simple sauté in butter to sing. And if you're feeling creative (we know you are), we've plucked 12 recipes for you to run with. Catch them while you can!

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first, hit the market

Wild Foraged Fresh Morels (2 lbs)

Wild Foraged Fresh Morels (2 lbs)

$75
Wild Foraged Fresh Ramps (2 lbs)

Wild Foraged Fresh Ramps (2 lbs)

$40
Wild Foraged Fresh Fiddleheads (2 lbs)

Wild Foraged Fresh Fiddleheads (2 lbs)

$34
French Market Basket

French Market Basket

$60

now Ramp It Up

As the old saying goes, "If you see ramps on the menu, order them." *

So, using that logic, if you see ramps for sale, snatch them up! These delicate flowers alliums have more of a nip than the usual bite of a full-grown onion. The green strands soften up against heat, giving in to their destiny: to tangle themselves with noodles, to melt into cheese, or to succumb to a pesto.

* Not actually an old saying.

Ramp Carbonara
Ramp Carbonara
Georgian Khachapuri Filled with Ramps, Green Onions, Herbs, and Cheese
Georgian Khachapuri Filled with Ramps, Green Onions, Herbs, and Cheese
Grilled Chicken with Ramps and Rhubarb Chutney
Grilled Chicken with Ramps and Rhubarb Chutney
Justin Burdett's Chilled English Pea Soup with Garlic Cream & Pickled Ramps
Justin Burdett's Chilled English Pea Soup with Garlic Cream & Pickled Ramps

fan-girl those fiddleheads

They're swirly; they're twirly; they're almost too cute to eat. Fiddleheads may make you nervous, but we promise these guys are easy to cook with. Pro tip: Swap them in a recipe where you'd usually use cooked asparagus or haricot verts (fiddleheads shouldn't be eaten raw!). They might need a few extra minutes of cooking time, but it'll be worth the wait.

Fiddlehead Frittata
Fiddlehead Frittata
Blistered Fiddlehead & Green Bean Salad with Sherry-Orange Vinaigrette
Blistered Fiddlehead & Green Bean Salad with Sherry-Orange Vinaigrette
Craig Claiborne's Pasta con Asparagi
Craig Claiborne's Pasta con Asparagi
Vegetable Chow Mein-ish with Asparagus, Shiitakes, and Edamame
Vegetable Chow Mein-ish with Asparagus, Shiitakes, and Edamame

more, more, morels!

Morels can be a little moody but once you get past that, they're well worth getting to know. Their ridgy, rippled outsides collect grit, so give them a good cleaning, then make sure they're plenty dry before going into a pan. Once simmering in sizzling butter, they'll soak it all up and get wonderfully crispy on the outside. When a recipe calls for a mix of mushrooms, why not invite morels to the party?

Morels and Asparagus
Morels and Asparagus
Alex Raij's Mushroom Confit (Setas Confitadas)
Alex Raij's Mushroom Confit (Setas Confitadas)
Double Mushroom & Kale Farro
Double Mushroom & Kale Farro
Crespelle with Porcini and Gorgonzola
Crespelle with Porcini and Gorgonzola
Morel Crostini
Morel Crostini

Do you look forward to the day when these guys hit the farmers market? How do they make their way onto your table? Tell us below!

Tags: ramps, ramp recipes, fiddlehead ferns, fiddleheads, morels, morel mushrooms