Yid.Dish: Adventures in Pickled Ramps

By Jeffrey Yoskowitz

Published April 30, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Until a friend recently told me about his foraging experience last week somewhere in a Bronx “forest,” I had never before heard of ramps. Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are a springtime treat on the East Coast. Ramps cannot be cultivated; they need to be foraged. That’s why they’re so expensive, so valued among New York City gourmands. My foraging friend harvested so many that he bartered a portion of his harvest for a meal at a nice restaurant, which featured the foraged treats.

JCarrot

Two days after hearing this story I began selling ramps at the farm stand in Brooklyn where I work. I talked them up all day long to those who hadn’t heard of them (before I even tasted them), but lots of folks were actually waiting all year long for them and ran up to the stand, usually exclaiming, “finally, you have them.”

One of the perks of operating a farm stand is that at the end of the day you get to take some extra stuff home. I got two bunches of ramps after that first day. I ran home to cook them up, and with a few friends made a salmon, ramp and chard dish. It was delicious. Sweet, with a bit of a garlic flavor, ramps are not overwhelming, but they are just generally pleasant to eat. They really enhance a meal.

I again worked the farm stand and this time at the day’s end there were too many ramps that wouldn’t survive another day of selling, so the farmer told me to take them home.There were literally a hundred bunches. I took home as many as I could fit in my backpack and raced home to pickle them. My bowls and pots were hardly large enough to contain them.

I had very little time to sort through recipes (I wanted to pickle them fresh), so I used the second one I found online then ran to the Park Slope Food Coop to get the necessary ingredients that I don’t have lying around the house (specifically the excessive amounts of apple cider vinegar and the celery seed).

JCarrot

I used this recipe from seasonalchef.com (check it out here):

2 quarts ramps, cleaned and peeled, green leaf removed

½ cup kosher salt

2 cup sugar

½ teaspoon whole celery seed

¼ teaspoon whole cloves

½ teaspoon whole mustard seed

1 quart apple cider vinegar

1) Cover ramps with cold water and add ¼ cup salt. Let ramps sit in salt water over night.

2) Drain off water and rinse. Combine vinegar, spices, remaining ¼ cup of salt and sugar in a non-reactive container such as a stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil, add ramps, bring back to the boil, and reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

3) Cool mixture completely and transfer to a glass container. Keep refrigerated. Pickled ramps are wonderful on sandwiches, or served with pork barbeque.

Next year I’ll be more prepared and will experiment with a recipe of my own. The final product, which is very pungent and flavorful, now sits in my fridge, waiting to dress my sandwiches once I’m back from ten days in California.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.