What To Preserve Now, Part I: Ramps
Friend and reader Christy Levy made an excellent suggestion in response to my Taste of Summer, which was to include on this site a preservation guide. To give the lady what she wants, I’m going to start a regular feature What To Preserve Now, in which I’ll provide suggestions on what market products you should be putting up now, whether by freezing, pickling or drying.
Today’s ingredient is the ramp, the Midwest’s stinky food mascot, darling of chefs, and allium lovers. The ramp’s time is short so preserve it to enjoy its pungency year round. To learn more about the ramp, read this 2009 post on The Local Beet.
The simplest way to save the ramp is to freeze it. Trim the little hairy end and but off the long green strands (you can use these in this recipe for Ramp and Bacon Tart, just increase the greens and omit the bulbs). Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling. Drop the ramps into the water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and cool. Seal in airtight containers and freeze.
3 bunches of ramps, trimmed and cooked as described in the previous recipe
1 1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dill seeds
1 bay leaf
Sterilize a pint size canning jar. I did it by submerging it in a large glass bowl filled with water, microwaving the whole mess for 15 minutes. While sterilizing your jar, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, dill, clove, and bay leaf in a small pan over medium high heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Pack the hot jar with the ramps. Pour the brine over them. Soak the jar’s lid and ring in the hot water for 1 minute. Seal the jar. Keep the jar at room temperature until opened. I plan to let my ramps set for a few days before using.
Pickled ramps are delicious on burgers and in salads. How do you use your ramps?