Caramelized Wild Leeks (Ramps)
In the south, ramp season begins in early Spring,
just after the ground begins to warm. The first ramps of the year are young and tender with a slender bulb, barely the size of scallions. As the season progresses, the harvest moves north, where allium tricoccum
is better known as the "wild leek." By mid-June, the green leaves have yellowed and fallen away and the bulb swells and mellows in flavor.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Melt the butter in an ovenproof saute pan over medium heat. The saute pan should be large enough to hold all the leek bulbs in a single layer. Add the leek bulbs and cook until they begin to brown slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and toss, continuing to cook until the sugar melts and begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve while still warm.