Ramps have finally shown their dirty little faces in NYC. I’d never heard of them before moving up here, and even then I’d never had them until last year when Ryan forced me to buy them on a Co-op tour with Mimi. They’re delicious though, and I see why the Northeast goes crazy for them when they’re in season. Mild and onion-y, I love that you can eat the entire plant.
Fresh Direct had them last week for $5 a bunch, cheaper than the Co-op. So I got 6 bunches, which is about a pound and a half. They come dirty and slightly slimy at the bottom, so it takes a while to clean them up.
3 quarts white vinegar
Black and/or white peppercorns
Clean the ramps – cut just the bottoms off where the roots are attached, then rinse of the dirt and any of the slimy outer layers. Heat vinegar in a large pot. Add salt and sugar – the ratio should be 2:1, sugar:salt. Add the rest of the ingredients – I didn’t really measure. Turn off the heat and slowly add the ramps, being careful not to break them. When the mixture has cooled off, put the ramps carefully into jars (they should be soft enough to “coil” in whole) or other airtight containers, then ladle the pickling liquid in after them.
What to do with pickled ramps: put them in salads, on pizza, in sandwiches. Puree them with mayo to use on burgers/sandwiches or to dip artichokes in. Put them on hot dogs. Etc.
That is all.
I saved some fresh ramps to use, and ended up eating some that morning in my eggs. I cut them into big pieces and sautéed them in duck fat with some salt and pepper, then soft-scrambled eggs in. Deeeeelicious.
Also, I had leftover pickling liquid that I saved so I also pickled some cauliflower. Just reheat the liquid. Meanwhile cut the cauliflower into little 1-inch knobs. When the liquid is at a simmer, turn the heat off and put the cauliflower in. I also added in some Thai chiles. That I pickled. That’s it – you can eat them as soon as they have cooled down. I like these with meat and cheese platters or to just eat with beer.
This is really awful because I want to pickle everything. EVERYTHING. I even pickled grapes. It’s almost tomato season so you best believe I am going to give some green tomatoes the vinegar treatment. Woo!