In the past several weeks I have been experimenting with that harbinger of spring, the ramp. The co-op is selling foraged ramps from Wisconsin and I can't stop buying them. I've also seen them in Whole Foods. I've tried to versions, sauteed and pickled. Here are the simple recipes for both!
Clean ramps. Slice bulbs and stems. Chop greens roughly.
Add oil to a sautee pan. Add bulbs, stirring. When softening add the stems. When both are softened add the greens until wilted. Delicious.
You can also just sautee the greens which I did with the leftovers after making my pickled ramps. I don't think I even added any salt and pepper!
PICKLED RAMPS (makes 1 qt. jar) - from Michael Symon's great cookbook, Live to Cook
3-4 bunches (3-4 ramps each) ramps
2 cups white vinegar
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 jalapeno pepper (alternately, the first time I tried this recipe I used 2 dried ancho chilis sliced instead of jalapeno since I was out of jalapeno)
In a sauce pan bring the vinegar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, bay leaf and jalapeno (or other hot pepper) to a boil and let simmer about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Clean the ramps and remove the greens, leaving the bulbs and stems intact. If you need to separate the bulb and stem so they fit in the jar go ahead. Set the greens aside and use later as a sauteed green.
Meanwhile in a larger sauce pan bring several cups of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the ramps and cook for about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Clean and sterilize your jar. Pack the ramps in the jar and fill with the vinegar mixture. You want to make sure the vinegar mixture has cooled to room temperature before adding to the jar. Conversely, I have also kept the jar soaking in hot water. However you do it, you want to minimize the temperature differential between the vinegar solution and the jar to prevent the glass from cracking.
Fasten the lid finger tight and set out the jar cools to room temperature. Store in the fridge for up to a month.