Like rhubarb and fava beans, ramps are one of spring’s beloved fleeting ingredients. The wild alliums are only available a few weeks every year, with chefs and home cooks alike scrambling to snag some leaves from the market or, if they’re lucky enough, forage for them.
With an earthy, garlicky flavor, ramps are a wonderful addition to many dishes, including potato salad. The raw bulbs are minced to add a peppery kick, while the leaves are quickly blanched and added at the very end.
When it comes to picking the best potatoes for salad, you want a less starchy one that holds up to boiling, such as red potatoes. Skip the Russets and Idaho varieties, which are better saved for baking and mashing. Be sure to fully submerge the potatoes and season the cooking water with salt, too — they’ll absorb some of it for a more flavorful potato salad.
Made in more of a German style, this potato salad uses grainy mustard and vinegar to dress the hot potatoes so that they soak up the flavors while cooling. Mixing in dill once cool adds a bright, fresh flavor, but parsley could be substituted.
Technique Tip: Have more ramps than you need for this recipe? Turn them into a pesto or flavored butter that you can use in a variety of ways.
Swap Option: If you can’t find red potatoes, try another waxy spud like new or fingerling potatoes. All-purpose potatoes such as Yukon gold and white are also suitable substitutes.
Ramps are only available for a short period of time, but you can still make this potato salad without the spring allium! Replace them with scallion greens, shallots or leeks, which can be found year-round.
- 3 pounds baby red potatoes, halved and large ones quartered
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6-8 ramp bulbs, minced, leaves reserved
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons old-style whole-grain mustard
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 packed cup fresh dill or tarragon (optional)
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water by at least 1 inch so that the potatoes remain submerged. Season well with salt and bring to a boil. Then cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes more. Add the ramp leaves, letting cook for 30 seconds, then immediately drain.2.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, mix the vinegar, mustard and minced ramps, then whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.3.
Drain the potatoes, transfer to a large mixing bowl or back to the pot, and immediately coat with the dressing. Set aside to cool, then toss with the herbs, if using, season with salt and pepper and serve.