The Shop

12 Recipes for That Fast-Fleeting Early Spring Produce

March 25, 2017

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.

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. 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!

first, hit the market

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.

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.

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?

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!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Hulk5mash
  • Craig Mckenley
    Craig Mckenley
  • AM Foxnail
    AM Foxnail
  • Cookie
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
Olivia Bloom

Written by: Olivia Bloom

Has a soft spot for string cheese.


Hulk5mash March 22, 2022
Dismayed by the fact that company that touts its dedication to sustainability and eco-consciousness is selling ramps that, based on the photo, we’re not sustainably harvested. Pulling out the bulb and root kills the plant—the life cycle of ramps is very delicate. The chances of that patch ever coming back is near zero. Only cut the greens and leave more than you take.
Craig M. February 16, 2018
Infusing your dish with magic truffles/mushroom will certainly give you a different kind of satisfaction. But not everyone can be that adventurous and has guts to experiment specially when it comes on something they eat. I came across this article about a very common dish infuse with mushroom
AM F. April 4, 2017
Cookie: if you have to order your taste of spring from a distant provider at a $20.00 overnight delivery fee, is it really worth it? The point is, if you can't source something locally, find a suitable substitute that you can.
Cookie April 4, 2017
Johanna, AM Foxnail: the moral judgment about "local sourcing" is not just unrealistic, it is inappropriately disparaging to this excellent on-line store. First, it's not hard to see that Food52 is unquestionably devoted to sourcing plenty of quality and handcrafted products in way that allows smaller businesses to profit, and there are constantly suggestions about local sourcing. Second, if you think that small crop, short-season produce like fiddleheads and morels are easily available to every person who has an internet connection and might visit this site, you need a reality check. Third, Food 52 is business, it is not a nonprofit or a charity, and it should indeed offer actual sourcing for what amounts to gourmet produce that is not, in fact, readily available to everyone, just as they do with items in the "Pantry" section of the store. Do you see them selling carrots and lettuce? No, and for good reason. Food 52, thank you for the great job you do. I am lucky enough to live in a California town where there are world-class farmer’s markets each day of the week in different locations, but if I was in Nome, I would love you even more, and damn straight I would order some of those fiddleheads from your source.

Now back to business: Sunchokes? Available only in spring, only for a few weeks, so delicious. How about some recipes?
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 25, 2017
Ramps, Fiddleheads & Morels are easily souced in CT at Farmers markets, Whole Paycheck and other produce storrs.
AM F. March 25, 2017
I agree with Johanna. Ramos, fiddleheads and morels can, nowadays, be found very easily at a good local farmers market, where they will be fresh and, most likely, locally harvested. I would have preferred Food 52 to encourage its readers to source locally.
Johanna March 25, 2017
I'm dismayed to see Food52 is selling ramps, morels, and fiddleheads through Mikuni Wild Harvest. I scoured their website for information on their sourcing practices, but found nothing other than a proclamation of "sustainability." Maybe I missed something on their website, but it appears that there is very little transparency in their dealings. There is nothing sustainable about collecting precious wild foods and then shipping them across the country. Wild foods are meant to be something you have to learn about and discover for yourself, not a luxury good to be purchased on the internet.This commodification is unethical, and I'm surprised that Food52, a website that promotes better eating and living, would sell these products.
Mary L. April 5, 2017
"Wild foods are meant to be something you have to learn about and discover for yourself"! Says who? Who made you God! What is unethical about it? What is ethical about having only high end restaurants preparing these foods that most people will never have a chance to try? Honestly folks, have some grace for opinions not your own! I am concerned about all the "group think" going on in our country and the bullying that accompanies it.