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They're great sauted, but eaten raw, they'll keep friends at bay

Published: Thu, July 21, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

Your friend the gourmand is coming to dinner. You've scoured cook books for a recipe that will wow him with your culinary skills and surprise your hungry guests.
Think ramp.
Time magazine notes we're in the middle of ramp season, and foragers are hitting the hills of Appalachia and bushes in the Great Lakes region to harvest the odd, foul-smelling vegetables sometimes called wild leeks.
They have wide leaves and small bulbs and look like scallions. They taste like a cross between onion and garlic, and if you eat one raw, no one will come near you for a couple of days, Time adds. Ramp-savvy cooks add them to salads or saute them as a side dish to fish and meat. One recipe on Earthy Delights' Web site suggests sauteing them with wild morels and chicken breasts.
East Tennessee, where they grow in the Smoky Mountain region, used to have a ramp festival that was once attended by Harry Truman, according to the state's online site.
You can buy them on earthy.com for about $10 a pound.

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