Ramps are wild leeks, with pungent bulbs and leaf-shaped shoots. Writer Sally Schneider learned how to cook them this way at the annual ramp festival in Helvetia, West Virginia, which she attends every year.
To clean ramps, peel off the outer skin, then trim off and discard roots. Wash under cold running water to rinse away any dirt and grit clinging to the bulbs or leaves. Cut bulbs from the leaves and reserve both.
Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove bacon from skillet, drain on paper towels, and set aside. Pour off all but about 2 Tbsp bacon grease from pan.
Add ramp bulbs and 1/2 cup water to same skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until bulbs are soft, about 15 minutes. Coarsely chop leaves, add to skillet, and cook until wilted. Crumble in bacon and cook until ramps are soft and all liquid has been absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.