Ramp Season is Here! But What are Ramps, Anyway?


The first few weeks of spring can only mean one thing; it’s officially ramp season! It’s that special time of year where chef’s throw root vegetables out the window and grab these fragrant greens just breaking through the soil. So what exactly is a ramp and how can you cook with ramps in your own kitchen? Here’s everything you need to know about these unique spring greens.

Ramps look similar to scallions but have one or two long green leaves on the top. Ramps also have a mild onion flavor with hints of garlic and leek. Sometimes they are referred to as spring onions, but that is actually a completely different ingredient all together. Ramps are grown and harvested in many areas of the country, and I actually got the beautiful ramps pictured above from my uncle’s farm in Kentucky. But remember, as quickly as you can get your hands on them in the beginning of April, they disappear just as fast, only lasting a few weeks.

Ramps are beautifully delicate but packed with intense aromatic flavor, so try preparing them a few different ways. For example, pickling the white bottoms in vinegar and dry spices will add an acidic punch to any salad. Save the green tops and sauté them for elegant scrambled eggs. Ramps are also great roasted, and they will become sweet and caramelized like onions. Quickly blanch ramps for a simple preparation that works very well in pestos and sauces. And one of the most unique and delicious ways to work with ramps is to fry them. Try making a light tempura batter and fry them until they are crisp and golden.

However you decide to cook ramps, they are a delicious green worth buying and experimenting with this spring in your kitchen.


New Ingredient Update: Baby Bok Choy

Baby bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that is incredibly versatile and a joy to work with. While it has been cultivated for centuries, this ingredient has recently grown in popularity due to its flavor, texture and nutritional value. If you want to explore baby bok choy further, learn more about this ingredient and how to cook with it here.

After you read all about baby bok choy, check out the other ingredients on Coffee, Cabs and Bar Tabs here. And if you haven’t already, follow CCandBT on Instagram at @coffeecabsandbartabs, and be sure to tag us in your own beautiful food photos with #CoffeeCabsAndBarTabs. Happy cooking!

New Year, New Ingredients

When a new year begins, resolutions are commonly made and even more frequently broken. So why not reach for a more realistic goal that will positively effect your entire life?  It’s a new year and it’s time to experiment in the kitchen, starting specifically with unique ingredients.

For a variety of ingredients that range from quintessential to obscure, check out the Ingredient page on Coffee, Cabs and Bar Tabs. Learn all about Sweet Mini Peppers (as seen above) and many other ingredients you can cook with in 2016.

If you haven’t yet, also be sure to follow CC&BT on Instagram at @coffeecabsandbartabs  for daily food photos from my kitchen to restaurants around NYC. Happy cooking!

All About the Ingredients: Corn Tortillas and Flour Tortillas

Corn tortillas or flour tortillas; what kind of tortilla should you use for your recipe?

It’s very clear that one is made with corn while the other is made with flour, but are corn and flour tortillas interchangeable? Also, what kind of tortilla is best for which recipe? Check out the latest post all about these ingredients on CC&BT. Here you’ll learn some facts about the two so you’ll know exactly what to buy when you’re shopping for tortillas.

Check out the post Corn Tortillas vs. Flour Tortillas here. And after you read the article, check out all of the Ingredient posts on Coffee, Cabs and Bar Tabs here. Cheers!