Known as wild leeks, ramps are in abundance from April through May. Mostly found while foraging (selected only from clean land and land that is not trespassed upon,) you can also find these at select farmer’s markets.
Should you wild forage, please take care with where you forage; know what exactly you are foraging for, only take some & leave many, and pay attention to the surroundings, obtain from clean areas (no run off from farms, roadsides, or places where chemicals/off-gassing occurs.)
Ramps (wild leeks) should be cut so that the root (bulb) stays intact in the ground; DO NOT pull the entire plant. This will ensure that your “source” will continue to regrow and create other leek (ramp) plants.
Pickling these delicious plants will allow you to enjoy them even after their season ends, which means throughout summer and even into winter!
These go best with Pâté, especially Pâté containing meat! If you don’t have access to ramps (wild or via farmer’s markets) you can utilize scallions as well.
1 lb. (450 grams) Ramps
3/4 c. (180ml) Water
1/2 c. (120 ml) White Wine Vinegar
1/2 c. (130 grams) Sugar
1 Tbsp. (15 grams) Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Whole Black Peppercorns
1 tsp. Yellow Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp. Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp. Caraway Seeds
1 Bay Leaf
Pot filled with salted water
Bowl for ice bath
Sheet pan and tea towels (or flour sack towels) for patting dry blanched ramps (leeks)
Container (heat-safe) with an air-tight lid
Saucepan to make “pickling” mixture
To prepare the ramps:
1. Wash the ramps and trim the tops (greens), save for use in other things; like scrambled eggs.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
3. Create an ice bath in separate bowl, set aside.
4. Add ramps (leeks) to the boiling water to blanch until just tender (only a minute or 2 max.)
5. Remove and blanch immediately in ice bath.
6. Remove from ice bath and transfer to sheet pan to pat dry.
7. Transfer dry ramps (leeks) into a heat-safe container that has an air tight lid.
To prepare the pickling mixture:
1. In saucepan, place remaining ingredients and bring to boil and add sugar until just dissolved.
2. Allow to cook for a few moments.
3. Pour mixture (while hot) over the ramps (leeks,) cover with tight lid, and cool to room temperature.
*Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.*
This recipe is an excerpt from Pâté, Confit, Rillette by Brian Polcyn with Michael Ruhlman
You can get this book by clicking this link: click here
Keywords: forage, leeks, wild, ramps, pickled, preserve, Pâté