For chefs and foodies ramps popping up in restaurants and farmers markets is the affirmative sign of springs arrival. Not familiar with the ramp? Also called wild leeks, they look a lot like scallions, but with flat broad bright green leaves. They have a similar taste to garlic and onions, and add a wonderful flavor to spring pasta dishes, eggs, pestos, compound butters, and are delicious simplysautéed in oil. I was lucky enough to make it to the Union Square farmer’s market early enough to get my hands on some last weekend, to find the one stand selling bunches being rampaged (no pun intended). Stock up while you can; they're only in season for a few short weeks. They will last about 4 days sealed in a plastic bag. If you can’t use them up fast enough, try this recipe for pickled ramps, great for snacking, mixed in cream cheese or in a bloody mary!
2 bunches ramps, cleaned, roots and green leaves removed
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 garlic cloves, skin removed
optional few flakes of crushed red peppers
1 In medium saucepan combine vinegar, water, sugar, spices, and garlic to prepare the brine. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
2 In a separate small sauce pan, cover cleaned and trimmed ramps in cold water and bring to a boil. Quickly remove and run under cold water until completely cool.
3 Transfer ramps to a glass jar with tongs, or BPA free plastic container, cover with brine. Store in fridge for 3-6 months.