5@5 - Liz Vaccariello
April 11th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

About the same time dandelions and bluebells start to bloom, so do the first cries of "zOMG ramps!" in the culinary world.

Spring has sprung, and for Every Day with Rachael Ray editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello - whose new issue hits newsstands April 12 - that means in the kitchen too.

Spring Eats Cooks Can’t Wait to Get Their Hands On: Liz Vaccariello

1. Ramps
"Chefs and cooks make a mad dash to the farmers market to get their hands on bundles of fresh ramps. These leafy wild leeks have a super-short growing season of two to three weeks in spring. Their intense onion flavor blows supermarket onions and leeks out of the water."

2. Razor clams
"Digging season just began for these sharp-shelled clams, which are longer and meatier than the typical round varieties. They taste sweet and a little briny, and they’re best prepared simply, like quick-cooked on the grill with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice."

3. Sprouts (pea shoots, radish sprouts and garlic sprouts)
"These are spring’s preludes to some of our favorite summer veggies - and we’ve been experimenting with them in the Every Day with Rachael Ray test kitchen. Find them at the farmers market and use them for a fresh, crunchy burst of flavor in everything from salads to tacos and wraps."

4. Prickly pear
"Slice open these spiny, southwestern fruits to discover a bright red, juicy flesh that tastes like candy-sweet watermelon filled with little edible seeds. Prickly pear-infused margaritas can be found on cocktail menus everywhere - and the fruit is supposedly a hangover cure, too!"

5. Cake pops
"What’s better than cake on a stick?! These adorable little cake lollipops are the hottest new way to get your sweet-tooth fix on the go. We’ve been noticing them on restaurant menus, at specialty bake shops, on food blogs - even at Starbucks."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • News • Think • Trends

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Grover Harrellson

    Stinging nettle above ground parts are used along with large amounts of fluids in so-called “irrigation therapy” for urinary tract infections (UTI), urinary tract inflammation, and kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). The above-ground parts are also used for allergies, hayfever, and osteoarthritis.,.*.

    Most interesting piece of content on our own blog site <http://wellnessdigest.co/index.php/

    July 5, 2013 at 7:44 am |
  2. Spunky Der Wondermonkey

    Ramps?? Really?? They grow in West Virginia and the only thing that they're good for is attracting another member of your immediate family.
    They give you atrocious breath and there's nothing you can do but gargle with cayenne infused moonshine to stop it.
    -Just ask Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty...

    April 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  3. I want da gold!

    Rachael Ray...Yummy! (Drooling on keyboard)

    April 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • I want da gold too!

      I want da gold gold gold!

      April 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  4. Jerv

    Mmmm, love tiramisu. Gonna try those! Thanks.

    April 12, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  5. Soleada

    Tiramisu cake pops from starbucks are actually quite tasty – had 1 last night for the 1st time... prickly pears are available @ publix here (shame i never tried them when i lived in phoenix, where the fruit was plentiful)... will have to go buy a couple now!

    April 12, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  6. Ruth

    "Cake pops"? you've got to be kidding me! As if we need another way to get people to eat empty calories full of refined sugars and fats. UGH!

    April 12, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  7. Sherri

    Roast of beef, mashed potatoes w/gravy and corn. There, I'm done.

    April 12, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  8. Tucker

    RE: Razorback clams
    The shells are not " sharp edged". The name refers to the shape which resembles a closed old fashioned men's straight razor. If you've ever had clam strips or fried clams "without bellies" you've had razorback clams. Delicious!

    April 11, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Tony

      100% false information. Razor Clams, not "Razorback" are completely different that what is used to make clam strips and fried clams without bellies. Both clam strips and fried clams without bellies are just normal clams with the bellies removed because your average joe does not like the texture of the belly when it is fried.

      Razor clams are a rare delicacy and are way too expensive to get at your average fried fish shack.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:34 am |
      • Patrick

        The best clams I ever had was in Spain while eating a grilled cheese sandwich.

        April 12, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  9. rhondalightful

    I love Holy Cacao and Austin Cake balls. Sprouts are awesome. Prickly pears (which also come with white flesh) are great fresh-rock seeds and all, and juiced. I'd like to try the rest, but only if I could get extra fresh options. Happy eating to all.

    April 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  10. dtboco3

    Prickly pear is okay, but not available where I live, and sprouts are pretty good. The other 3 I won't be at all, so I'm not sure why I was told I would be. I hate onions, I am not a huge fan of clams, and live nowhere near the ocean, making razor clams hard to get and expensive(not to mention not exactly fresh), and cake pops sound kinda gross and are more a novelty than a food. I wish CNN would get some decent food writers. Based on the title "5 Foods Headed for Your Plate This Spring", I thought it was going to be an article about what fresh veggies are good to pick up in the early spring, or something along those lines at least.

    April 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
  11. Reality Check

    Coming soon to my kitchen:

    Cheeseburgers, chicken, steak, and corn on the cob, hot off the grill. Basic ingredients, can be found anywhere, easy to cook, no kitchen mess, and tons of ways to add flavor (like parmesan-garlic infused butter for the corn – yum).

    Can't wait for the fresh sweet corn to be in season from the local farmers. Nothing like it in the world.

    April 11, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
    • Sherri

      OK, so this is the best menu I've seen here yet....!

      April 12, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  12. Steve

    Sprouts taste like dirt. Only a moron would eat them. And prickly pear??? The seeds are like rocks and they're a pain to get out. The only way to eat them is like the Indians used to do. Boil the fruit until it turns to a thin jelly-like substance so you can strain out the seeds. Edible seeds??? What idiot thought they were edible?? They're like tiny little rocks. God help anyone with diverticulitis that eats even one of them. What planet did the author come from?

    April 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Jerv@Steve

      Earth. But you must be from Uranus.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Worf@Jerv

      That is where Klingons abound.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:41 am |
      • Chancellor Gowron

        Steve is WITHOUT honor!

        April 12, 2011 at 10:47 am |
      • Jerv@Worf, Son of Mogh

        Wouldn't it be fun to plug Nintendo cartridges into Data and play video games?

        April 12, 2011 at 10:49 am |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Data is a big hit with the ladies for several reasons.

        Also, in the event of a water landing, he is equipped with an emergency flotation device.

        April 12, 2011 at 10:59 am |
      • Jerv@Jdizz

        Yup, there is a reason that Tasha Yar can appreciate an anatomically correct android.

        April 12, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Worf@Chancellor Gowron

      I understand there is a meat product on Earth that is abhorrent to all but a small faction of humans. They call it Spam. I believe this "steve" human is beneath the honor of even that noxious food.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:52 am |
      • Kurn, Son of Mogh

        We must bring the House of Mogh down upon this targ manure. As brothers, we must honor our house by uniting to erraticating these "SPAMmers".

        April 12, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Nerd overload. Time to go visit NFL.com and make up for this.

      April 12, 2011 at 10:59 am |
      • Jerv@Jdizz

        Yup but fun. Now, back to work.

        April 12, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  13. Johanna

    Cake pops...for realz?!? What about stinging nettle? In the East (PA, MD, VA), stinging nettle has sprung, and I've already made a steaming, nourishing pot of stinging nettle soup with potatoes, onions, and garlic. As Rachel would say, "Yum!"

    April 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  14. Ken

    Razor Clams are fantastic. They are best when fresh from the Alaskan sand, dipped in egg and battered with bread crumbs.

    April 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      I concur. I'm from Kenai, so I've been out doing that numerous times. Clam Gulch/Anchor Point is a good spot.

      If you can get across Katchemak Bay (boat or plane) and like to get steamers and butter clams, it's something I highly suggest you do one day.

      April 12, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  15. Tom

    Is it my imagination or has half of Rachael Ray's body been air-brushed away on the magazine cover? Looks like they also photoshopped her face.....OMG

    April 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Steve

      Yeah, they definitely airbrushed away a few pounds. She's kinda chubby, still.... I'd probably hit it. :-)

      April 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
      • Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell


        April 12, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  16. Fanny

    Ramps...Right in New England.....

    April 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  17. amandajo

    go to Holy Cacao best cake balls!!! They have one called Diablo balls... cream cheese frosting made with ancho chiles and a touch of cayenne blended into chocolate cake dipped in chocolate then topped with cayenne and cocoa toasted walnuts!!!! YUM! Austin Texas that s where it s all at baby!

    April 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  18. Popeye

    With Liz coming from the Rachael Ray camp i was ready for another Ray-Ray signature quick dish made with spaghetti mixed with canned monster beans accented with frozen stink bugs. I was pleasantly surprised with the food tips. Prickly pears right off the cactus is hard to beat. And Good luck getting your hands on razor clams.

    Cake pops? Aren't those Twinkies without the stick?

    April 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • sirex

      hahahaha, this just made my day!!

      April 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Snow White

      Some "twinkies" thrive on the "stick".

      April 12, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  19. r

    Hummus, shredded red cabbage, mussels, any kind of sushi, POM drinks and vodka does it for me.

    April 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Steve

      Humous?? Only a sissyfied, namby pamby, effite, pretentious wimp would eat humous. Sprouts too. Only a gurly man would eat that crap.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
      • Ang

        Hummus is basically just bean dip. Are you saying bean dip is for sissies? Manly men everywhere would disagree.

        April 12, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • MalaDee@Ang

        Madame Ang,

        Steve is a well-documented troll. While I'm new to this posting thing, I can tell you no good will come from feeding trolls like him.

        April 12, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  20. Gary

    I cook about 3 to 4 times a week plus on the weekends. Mostly from scratch. Why do I believe I will not see nor cook with any of that...

    April 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • elob

      Because you are not adventurous?

      (I wasn't sure if your post was a rhetorical question.)

      April 11, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Ostifara

      If you try any, try spouts. They can go with pretty much anything, and they're easy, cheap, tasty, nutritious, and in most cases, local.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Cook

      Because cooking from scratch every night, as I do also, is more important than running all over looking for these ingredients. Because there's nothing wrong with sauteed chicken with leeks and zucchini, rice, a garden salad, and a good bottle of white wine.

      April 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  21. Truth, Temporary Bachelor

    Tôi sẽ đánh đó!

    April 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell


      April 12, 2011 at 10:04 am |
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