We took our almost three-year-old son ramp foraging with us last week. He brought a trowel and a dump truck. But don’t worry, we confined his excavation to a patch of dirt that did not contain any ramps – they’re far too precious and fragile for the likes of his enthusiastic digging efforts.
We harvested very sustainably - just one to two plants from each clump – probably 10 percent or less – and left with a small bag of foraged treasure. If you go ramp hunting, please make sure you do the same to preserve these fragile, delicious plants — there’s more info on the dangers they face from over-harvesting in this NY Times article.
I plan to make this delicious ramp and lemon risotto that we enjoyed last year again. And my husband just started a small jar of these pickled ramps.
The simple recipe comes from Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats via the lovely new cookbook I posted about a few weeks ago, Ramps: Cooking with the Best Kept Secret of the Appalachian Trail (the one with my photo on the cover!)
There are lots of good recipes in this book, including a few from other upstate NY bloggers like Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen. Next year, we may need to seek out a larger patch of ramps so we can try out a few more…
It will be at least three weeks before I can report back to you on the flavor and consistency but I expect good things. And since ramp season will definitely be over by that time, here’s the recipe in case you want to try it out with your own haul.
Next: Get the recipe!
Special equipment: canning jar and lid
* 1 pound ramps, carefully washed, ends trimmed
* 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/4 cup salt
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 tablespoon yellow or black mustard seed
* 6 allspice berries
* 1 pinch red pepper flakes
1. Carefully pack ramps into a sterilized quart-sized jar with a screw-top lid.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil, whisking until sugar and salt are dissolved.
3. Pour hot brine over ramps (it should fill the jar completely, if you have excess, discard). Screw on lid and allow to cool at room temperature.
4. Transfer to refrigerator and allow to rest for at least 3 weeks and up to a year before consuming.
You might also like:
- Harvesting Wild Ramps
- Wild Ramp & Lemon Risotto
- Wild Ramp & Parsley Pesto
- On the Hunt for Wild Greens – Miner’s Lettuce
- Wild Blackberry Sorbet With Mint – The Scratches Are Worth It!