Every year, I go ramp hunting with Allan Benton in the foothills of the North Carolina or East Tennessee mountains - depending on where the ramps decide to flourish that year. We carefully forage among the ramp patches to harvest only the most mature ramps. We leave the rest to ensure more will grow in the years to come. I haul a large bag of ramps back to my Test Kitchen and turn them into these pickled ramps...and sometimes ramp pesto. These Pickled Ramps are simple. Once you get the hang of this recipe, make it your own. Add in different ingredients, like mustard seeds or sorrel and other fresh spring herbs, to suit your taste. I like to give these Pickled Ramps to family and friends for them to enjoy on a charcuterie board for a casual party. You can also whoozge up these ramps with olive oil and parmesan cheese to make a fresh bread spread.
Prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 135 minutes
Makes 3 jars pickles
- Make sure the jars and lids are fully clean. I run them through the hot dishwasher beforehand
- Leave an hour or so after making the pickles to let the jars come to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator
- I like to use about 3 19.6 oz Weck jars and others of similar size; pint wide-mouth Ball jars work, too
- You may have extra pickling brine left over; if you have enough ramps, make a 4th jar or add any vegetable to a final jar, like yellow squash, string beans or okra
- 2-3 lbs. ramps, washed and roots removed
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups cider vinegar
- 2 cups white sugar
- ¼ cup Kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf for each jar
- 3-5 whole, peeled garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
In a large saucepan, add water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring to a slow boil on medium heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt, 7-8 minutes. Turn heat down to low and let simmer while you prepare the jars.
Evenly divide the ramps among 3-4 small to medium pickling jars - I like to use a few different sized Weck jars because I like to give pickled ramps as gifts to family and friends. Wrap some ramps along the inside of the jars and tuck the rest into the center. Place as many as you can until the jars are full but not packed. Layer in the bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns and coriander seeds; make sure you can see these ingredients from the outside of the jar.
Transfer the hot pickling brine to a 1-quart measuring cup (I think it's easier to pour this way). Pour the brine in each jar, filling to about ½" to the top. Tap each jar to release any air pockets. Fill with more brine if needed.
Seal the jars tightly with the lids. Clean off the outside of the jars with a warm, cloth. Let the jars rest on the counter to room temperature. Then, transfer to the refrigerator. The pickled ramps will keep up to 1 month in the refrigerator.
- If you like things a little spicy, add a chile pepper to each jar
- For extra color, put carrot slivers in each jar
- If you want a more mild flavor, omit the garlic