If you’ve never tasted a ramp before, it might be hard to understand why chefs and foodies get so excited about this wild member of the onion family. Part of the appeal is their incredibly short season — just a few weeks. If you see some at the farmer’s market, grab them now, because they may not be back next time.

Ramps — sometimes called wild leeks — look a lot like scallions, but with broad leaves and red stems, and their taste is mild, garlicky and earthy. Wash them very well to remove the dirt and try them raw, roasted or grilled. Both the bulb and the leaves are delicious.

8 ways to make the most of New Jersey’s ramp season:

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Slice ramps up for a topping on pizza.

Chop and stir them in to scrambled eggs.

Pickle them to use later.

Make ramp butter by chopping them finely and stirring into softened butter (great served over grilled fish!).

Roast ramp bulbs with your chicken.

Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until just tender.

Chop up the leaves and toss into salad.

Finely chop and stir into tuna salad.

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Got a story you'd like to see on NJ Flavor? Email Jackie Lieberman at jlieberman@tapinto.net.