Ramps seem relatively pricey this year, and I'm assuming it's because more and more people know what they are and wish to take some home and not because growing conditions were unfavorable. Last year they were $3/bundle at the Union Square greenmarket (and the same the year before, if my memory is correct); I haven't priced them there this year but this morning I noticed them at my local (the Tompkins Square Park greenmarket) for $6/bundle. Six dollars! Have any of you taken on seasonal work this year to support your ramp-munching habit? Or tried smoking them?
Obviously it's preferable to gather your own ramps for free. I spotted plenty of them growing in the woods last weekend in Connecticut, particularly very close to the stream we crossed on our hike. If you're planning to forage your own be sure to bring something spoon-like; their little bulbs can be difficult to dislodge even if you're willing to get your fingers dirty.
On to the recipe. It comes from the always-reliable (in my experience) Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and it's got chickpea flour in it (besan), which is reliably one of my favorite ingredients. The resulting fritters have plenty of exciting crisp wispy bits around the edges, and it's a nice change of pace to have ramps getting along with rather bold spices rather than dominating a dish. I'm not going to cut-and-paste the recipe because I didn't change anything about it apart from using ramps in place of the spring onions, so go have a look at it here. Ramps are more pungent than spring onions so you'll want them daintier than the "chunky slices" he calls for.
Hugh F-W (even the Grauniad calls him that) gave a recipe for a radish goats' cheese raita to accompany his bhajis. It sounds great but I improvised one made with just yogurt, chopped cilantro, chopped mint, and a pinch of salt:
I don't have any measurements for the raita, sorry, but if you're confident enough in the kitchen to make ramp bhajis I'm sure you won't screw it up.
I've been thinking of them as bhajis, but the throat-clearing sounds coming from the direction of my fritter subcommittee remind me that you might look at them and see bhujia (or bhujiya) or pakoras. I've only been to northern India and these would be pakoras there. At the Bangladeshi-owned Indian restaurant near Tiny Banquet HQ they'd probably be bhujia (though they also have bhajees on the menu) and from what I understand they'd be bhujia in southern India. I don't want to make any enemies among the barons of the Big Bhujia industry so I'm open to calling these whatever seems most reasonable. We all agree they're fritters, correct?