1-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 Tbsp Turbinado sugar (brown sugar may be substituted) 1 lb wild leek bulbs, fresh or frozen
1-1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400.
Melt the butter in an ovenproof saute pan over medium heat. The saute pan should be large enough to hold all the leek bulbs in a single layer. Add the leek bulbs and cook until they begin to brown slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and toss, continuing to cook until the sugar melts and begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve while still warm.
This is a just a variation of a recipe for green onion jam I adapted and tweaked from a chef who I admire very much. Not exactly a “jam” like you would expect, it’s savory and has a bit of a slight crunch to it as well. You could definitely still put it on toast (I do) but usually it’s function is more of a condiment, to be used as part of the accoutrement for platter of cured meats or cheese. It is so much more than just a condiment though.
Since the recipe contains a bit of cornstarch to thicken it and give it it’s “jammy” quality, it will in turn thicken other things that you add it to. Gravy, fruit sauce, heck barbecue sauce. The ramp jam’s possibilities in the kitchen are only limited by your imagination. I’ve used it to make vinaigrettes, flavor sour cream, or I’ll just dollop it on something, anything. This week I used it to make a sauce for beef roast. I took some jam, thinned it with just a bit of reduced, strong pork glace then mounted it with a little butter, and whisked it in to thicken it lightly: it was the best thing I made all week.
Yield: 3 cups
4 cups young or middle aged ramp bulbs sliced 1/4 inch
1.5 tsbp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp each brown mustard seed and yellow mustard seed
1/2 tsp each whole caraway and cumin seed, toasted
2 tbsp flavorless oil like grapeseed or canola
Tbsp chopped wild mint (optional)
Tiny pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat, add half of the ramps to the pan and cook for a minute or two until translucent. Add the salt, spices and sugar and cook until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the vinegar and cook for a minute more. Add the cornstarch dissolved in water and cook until the mixture thickens, just a few minutes. Add the reserved ramps and the chopped wild mint if using.
Transfer the ramp jam to a container and cool immediately. It will keep for a long time if it is tightly covered. The ramp jam could also be frozen easily.
Yeah, yeah. I know ramp season is over but I made these a while ago and they were so good I decided to blog them anyway. When it comes to ramps, it’s really the green leaves that are incredibly perishable so every once in a while, you can find just the bulbs for sale long after you stop finding the leaves. But what to do with them?
You can use these pickled ramps anywhere you would use pickled onions (on sandwiches, tacos, bean dishes, etc).
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
⅛ teaspoon hot chili flakes
2 bay leafs
1 pound ramp bulbs, cleaned and trimmed
Kosher salt for blanching
Trim the root ends off of the ramps and cut off the leaves, saving the green ends for another purpose (like pesto or risotto). Rinse the ramps well under cool, running water.
Bring a 2-3 quart pot of water up to boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
Drop in the ramps and cook for 2-4 minutes, depending on size) They should be tender but not mushy. Remove and shock them in ice water until cool. Drain the ramps well and place them in a the jar you’re going to pickle them in.
In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf and all the spices. Turn off the heat.
Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the ramps in the mason jar and let cool on the counter (30 minutes or so). Then seal tightly and transfer to the refrigerator. They’ll be ready to eat in a day or two.
The refrigerated pickled ramps will last a few weeks to a couple of months.
If you’re a regular reader of food blogs, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that foodies go absolutely crazy when it comes to ramps. Maybe it has to with their scarcity, as the window to find them in season is quite small, or the cost, which obviously is a little pricey due in part to the aforementioned scarcity.
Or maybe it’s just because they’re pretty frickin’ tasty. For all the cultural reasons that are bandied about ramps and their popularity, taste seems to take the backseat. When you actually eat a ramp, it’s easy to realize why foodies go nuts – they taste like spring onions crossed with garlic but with a substantiveness similar to an onion.
Trim greens from ramps; reserve for another use. Place buttermilk in a shallow dish. Combine flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne in another shallow dish. Coat ramps in flour mixture, then buttermilk, then flour mixture again.
Fit a large pot with a deep-fry thermometer. Pour in oil to a depth of 2″; heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°. Fry ramps until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels; season with salt. Serve with lemon wedges.
Cleaning ramps is a bit of work, but it’s worth it! Fill a large bowl with cold water, then place your ramps in the water. Swish them around to remove as much dirt as possible, then remove them from the bowl and give them a second rinse under running water to remove any remaining grit. Change the water and do the same with your second bunch of ramps. Place the ramps on a dry paper towel, then top with another paper towel and pat out as much water as possible.
Clean the ramps by removing the tip of each stalk. Set aside (don’t slice them – they’re perfect as is).
In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat your butter over medium-high heat. Swirl around until browned and nutty, about 3-4 minutes. Add the ramps to the browned butter and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the ramps are lightly charred and wilted. Serve with your favorite protein as a side, or enjoy them on their own.
If you like ramps and you like potatoes (WHO DOESN’T!?), then you’re going to love this simple little recipe. It serves four so you will need to adjust as necessary. And don’t worry about making too much, I think it tastes even better when warmed over the next day.
Iron skillet (ok, this is optional – but ramps do cook better in an iron pan, we think – as least our mommas thought so!)
4 or 5 large red potatoes, diced
1 lb. bacon
2 or 3 bunches of ramps, cleaned and cut up – [if you don’t have any you can always use our ramp seasonings or ramp flakes instead]
6 eggs (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon in skillet. (and NO veggie oil is NOT okay … well use it if you must)
Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
Put cut up potatoes in bacon grease and let fry 3 to 4 minutes.
Add cut up ramps and continue frying until potatoes are well done (15 -20 minutes).
Place previously fried bacon on top of potatoes and ramps; let simmer for about 2 minutes.
If you want to add scrambled eggs, add after potatoes are done and before adding bacon.