We are still in the swing of ramp season here in Southwest Wisconsin, and I keep trying to find new ways to use these wild treats. If you are unfamiliar with ramps, they are a wild allium found in the spring that looks a bit like a scallion with a wide leaf at the top. They are found in wooded areas, usually on North-facing slopes of hills. I have put up a few recipes using ramps, a Ramp and Nettle Sauerkraut and a Wild Ramp Chimichurri, so if you want more info on harvesting and using ramps check those out first.
This is one of those foods that can be used in a lot of different recipes to add a pop of flavor, so if you find yourself with extra ramps this time of year, here are some more quick recipe ideas that you can try! Ramps keep really well in the fridge if you clean them and then store them in an airtight container, like zip-top plastic bag, then you can extend their shelf life in the fridge and use them as you need them in recipes.
Kraut-Chi with Ramps
I used a kraut-chi recipe, a phrase coined by Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation fame, which is a sauerkraut made using classic Kimchi ingredients and flavors, but without making a brine. I have added ramps in with the mixture for some wild onion flavor, which is a perfect pairing with the ginger and other veggies.
Makes 1/2 gallon
3 lbs napa cabbage
4-6 ramps, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium daikon radish, sliced
4" ginger, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced--optional
Korean red pepper flakes, to taste
~4 Tbs sea salt, or to taste
Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl and massage until the cabbage has released its water and creates a brine. Pack into glass jars or a ceramic crock, ensuring that the veggies stay below the brine.
Let sit 7-21 days, depending on how fermented you like your kimchi, as well as the temperature of your home. Transfer to the fridge until ready to eat.
This is delicious but will stink up your house something fierce!
Makes ~2 cups
2 cups chopped ramps, packed--I just used the green leafy tops for this recipe
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts, cooled and chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
~1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor or blender, combine the ramps, basil, nuts, lemon, vinegar and cheese. Pulse several times until large chunks are broken up.
While the blade is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture becomes a smooth but slightly thick paste.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a glass jar or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
You can make an extra batch and freeze this for later use as well, which is so nice to taste in the dead of winter!
Ramps are a natural addition to all of your favorite herby sauces, such as the pesto above and the chimichurri I previously posted about. I love to throw it into dips such as hummus and dressings as well. This next recipe is super easy to put together in the blender, and will make any salad instantly more springy and flavorful. This is a classic Green Goddess dressing, which is creamy and full of fresh herbs, turning it a beautiful green color, with the addition of pungent ramps. We put it on our favorite salad, with spinach, red onion, bacon, feta and toasted pumpkin seeds, and it was perfect!
Green Goddess Dressing with Ramps
Makes ~1 cup
1/2 cup plain, full fat yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1 Tbs heavy cream
2-3 ramps, chopped
3 Tbs fresh or 1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbs fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients together in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a glass jar or container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Brine & Broth
I am a nutritionist in Southwest Wisconsin, focused on traditional, nutrient-dense foods. My goal is to provide you with simple and delicious recipes that fit into real life, and information for choosing healthful real foods. Enjoy!