Wild food foraging is somewhere near the top on the list of activities I enjoy. I enjoy being in nature, anything to do with food, the satisfaction of getting free food that I didn’t have to sow/weed/water in a garden; I suppose it satisfies my liking of things and activities that are both beautiful and practical.
I tend to go a little overboard though – pick all the plants! They’re free, nutritious, and delicious! Then I get home, and realize that I have more than I know what to do with. Anybody with me?
Here is a list, then, of 12 ideas of things to make with ramps, in case you have too many sitting in your fridge. The flavour of ramps is best raw, so most of these recipes don’t involve heat.
1. Ramp Butter When I made this I chopped up the ramps, next time I would throw it in a blender. I didn’t use or write down a recipe, just ramps, butter, and salt if the butter is unsalted, all to taste. Instant garlic butter, melt over baked fish, spread on bread, or roll up in a yeast dough.
2. Chopped and a) eaten with butter on bread. This is the classic Slovak way of eating wild garlic. b) added to a salad. c) added to soup just before serving.
3. Pesto I made ramp pesto last year, and it had a very intense raw garlic taste. If you like an exponential experience of raw garlic, have at ‘er, but I prefer it tempered with another vegetable or herb. You could add it to any type of pesto, although I’m partial to my dairy free Nettle Ramp Pesto.
4. Ramp Hummus Haven’t made it but it sounds delicious!
5. Asparagus, Ramps, Snap Peas and Pea Salad with Poached Egg and Lemon Zest Vinaigrette This salad looks like spring in a bowl.
6. Homemade Kimchi with Ramps Add it to kimchi – genius!
7. Freeze It While you can dry ramps, the process greatly decreases the flavour and health benefits. If you just chop it up, however, it becomes super soggy. I suggest pureeing it first and freezing it in ice cube trays.
8. Salad Dressing Throw in some bear garlic with olive oil, wine vinegar, salt, and mustard in a blender. Or blend it to make a ramp aioli
9. With Eggs Ramps and eggs go together like, well, ramps and eggs. It works in omelettes, frittatas, scrambled eggs, you name it.
10. Ramp Polenta This is an oldie from Martha Stewart, and while I haven’t made it, it sounds like it would go together like ramps and eggs, which is to say, it would pair well.
11. Garnish I generally forget to garnish dishes, but chopped up small, this is a great way to add a bit of garlic flavour to any dish.
12. Fermented My mom often kneaded various greens with salt until it made its own brine, and let it pickle for a few days. My father would eat the green ferments with rice or porridge, Japanese style. I haven’t actually fermented ramp leaves, but I have made fermented ramson flower buds, and they were delicious! So good – the garlic taste was present but not stomach-burning and the buds were delightfully crisp.
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