Ramps are a true sign that Spring is here. For those of you that don’t know, ramps are a North American species of wild onion that grow widespread across eastern Canada and the eastern United States. Their season is short, so pickling and preserving is a great way to enjoy them year-round.
Ramps season brings me back to my first years in California when I worked at Martini House restaurant. The menus always featured foraged items; we even had a five-course mushroom tasting menu. When Spring hits you know ramps are coming, right alongside the morel mushrooms, favas, peas and green garlic. A dish I always think of this time of year is chicken and foie mousse stuffed morels, poached and brown butter roasted with morel hollandaise and grilled ramps.
This year I went a little crazy with ramps: pickled, fermented, powdered and even ramp top kimchi. Below is a recipe that I go back to every year: pickled ramps. Pickled ramps can be used in salads, as an accompaniment to meat and cheese or in cocktails as a garnish.
Pickled Ramps Recipe Ingredients
Yields 2 quarts
- 1 cup White Wine Vinegar
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp. Mustard Seed
- 1 tsp. Coriander Seed
- 1 tsp. Fennel Seed
- 1 tsp. Pink Peppercorns
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 3 Tbsp. Salt
- 2 lbs. Ramps
- Clean the ramps by trimming the roots and tops. Use only the bulbs for this recipe.
- Blanch the cleaned ramps and shock in ice water. Drain completely.
- Toast spices in a heavy bottomed pan. Add vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring liquid to a boil.
- Pour hot liquid over ramps in quart jars.
- Jars can be sealed in a canning pot with boiling water or simply stored in the fridge.