Last minute Ramp ideas to make the season last longer. What are your favorite ramp dishes? Here are three easy dishes you can make at home.
Suddenly Summer suddenly appeared at the Farmer’s Market. It felt vaguely familiar, but yet at the same time strangely different. A sudden heat wave abruptly ended Spring’s explosion, and now the farmer’s stands were brimming with sweet cherries, real tomatoes, vibrant eggplants, emerald zucchini and fragrant basil.
I wasn’t quite ready for the change, Summer hadn’t asked my permission to intrude on my sweet bliss. Gone were the mountains of flowering brassicas, perfect miniature icicle radishes and early Spring lambs lettuce. The foragers had pulled all the miner’s lettuce, flowering wild onions, peppery watercress, fiddleheads and ramps from hidden beds deep within the dank waking forest. Fishermen had added their catch of day boat halibuts and fatty wild king salmon caught in the Columbia River. I bought my last pound of ramps and went home to prepare three easy dishes to say goodbye.
1. Ramp Pickles
An easy pickle for keeping wild ramps through the summer.
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 pound fat ramps bulbs
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
Blanch ramp bulbs for 30 seconds in a large pot of boiling, salted water. Immediately stop the cooking by dropping bulbs into an ice bath. Drain and place in a sterilized 1 quart glass jar with airtight lid.
Combine salt, all remaining ingredients, and 1 cup water in saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar dissolve. Pour mixture over ramps and tightly seal jar.
Submerged jar in boiling water and cook for ten minutes. Let cool to room temperature and then store till ready to eat.
2. Ramp Vodka
This recipe is so simple it requires only a few words: stuff three or four ramps into a clean jar, top with vodka, screw top on tightly and wait two weeks. Then make yourself a delicious ramp Bloody Mary.
3. Oregon Ramp Pesto
My goal was a pesto unique to the Pacific Northwest. The hazelnuts are stronger than traditional pine nuts but they add a certain flavor that is yummy. It is very versatile. I eat it on bruschetta, pasta, Columbia River king salmon and even artichoke tarts.
Oregon Ramp and Hazelnut Pesto
A super flavorful way to use leftover ramp greens
- 1 clove garlic mashed
- ¼ cup roasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup Parmesan grated finely
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ramp greens blanch and shocked
- salt and pepper to taste
Put garlic, hazelnuts, parmesan and olive oil into bowl of food processor. Process till smooth and creamy.
Blanch ramp greens in a large pot of salted water. Squeeze completely dry and add. Puree till bright green and smooth.
Season with salt and pepper. Store in jars and freeze.
Bonus Recipe: Artichoke, Caramelized Onion and Ramp Pesto Tart
Since this is a bonus recipe I am going to be very brief. Pour a big glass of a Provencal rose and get to it. Slice cooked artichoke bottoms (watch this video to see how to peel an artichoke quickly and easily), top with caramelized onions, a big scoop of ramp pesto and cover with puff pastry. Cut edges into a circle if you want. Bake at 400 degrees till browned and puffed. Flip over and eat. Great with a green salad!