We took Will 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 him.
We harvested very cautiously/sustainably - just one to two plants from each clump - probably 10% or less and left with a small bag of treasure.
I plan to make this delicious ramp and lemon risotto that we enjoyed last year. 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. You know, the one with my photo on the cover!!!
There are lots of good recipes in this book. Next year, we may need to seek out a larger patch of ramps...
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.
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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