Easy Pickled Ramps

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.

A bunch of wild ramps, fresh from the ground by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog

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.

Pickling wild ramps by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog copyright 2012

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!)

The new Ramps Cookbook - my photo is on the cover! by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

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…

Pickling wild ramps by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog copyright 2012

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!

Pickling wild ramps by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog copyright 2012

Pickled Ramps
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.

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Dale Overall

Interesting but be sure to check and see if what you are harvesting is scare in a particular area.
There are some things that are like dandelions as they will always be around and in some areas wild leeks and other things are on a list of things to avoid because they have been harvested a bit too often depending on where one lives.

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Cecily Pretty
Cecily P5 years ago

Sounds yummy!

Carmen S.
Carmen S5 years ago

have never heard of them before, thanks for sharing this

Sandi C.
Sandi C5 years ago


Jane H.
Jane H5 years ago

I have been wondering what they are as a resturant (fancy one) offerred them to us just last weeThanks for the post.

Donna J Street
Donna Street5 years ago

Here in Michigan they are 'rampant'(sorry). We had them in our salad last week and will be getting some more this week. Taking one or two plants from a huge clump is a responsible way to harvest them.

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago

If the plants are rare or indangered how come are these people not taking the plants as starts and growing them in their garden or yard? Harvesting plants like that is very simular to hunting wild or indangered animals. his small bag of dinner could be transplanted and harvested at home with less chance of endangering the spieces. Sure it may take several years to establish to the point of harvest but that would be much better.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Also called wild leeks. You can grow them.

Joan Mcallister
5 years ago

Here is another who has not heard of them, guess I wll need to goggle them.