Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ramping up

Pickled ramps seem to be ubiquitous in foodie cirles these days, so it's no surprise these wild, fledgling leeks are easier to find with every passing spring. If you live in NYC, you'll find ramps at your local Greenmarket through May. They can also be found at Whole Foods, Chelsea Produce, and Garden of Eden.

The following recipe for sweet pickled ramps is adapted from Tom Colicchio's Think Like a Chef:

1 pound ramps, cleaned and trimmed
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. coriander seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. red peppercorns
1 bay leaf

1. Combine the vinegar and sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the mustard, coriander, fennel seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf. Keep warm over low heat.

2. Meanwhile, blanch the ramps in a large pot of boiling salted water until the leaves turn bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Drain, then shock the ramps under cold water. Dry, and arrange in a clean jar.

3. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the ramps and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 days before serving.

Pickled ramps will keep in the refrigerator for several months.