I am not a huge pickler.
I do pickle from time to time. Mainly for burger purposes i.e. I want them on a burger.
After traveling to a ramp festival in Ohio, I came home with a bag full of the stinky wonders of spring. This was the most ramps I ever bought at once so I was excited to come up with some new recipes to enjoy them.
I heard ramps were great pickled. So I thought why not. And it was recommended to me to save the leaves to make pesto - and I am all for "alternative" a.k.a. non-basil pestos (see my asparagus pesto recipe)
How to Quickly Pickle Ramps
Traditional pickle making can take a long time. It is all about developing flavor. In this case I was just looking to quickly have something to throw on a burger that night.
To do a quick pickle all you need to do is bring some vinegar (I like white wine for this), water, salt, and a little bit of sugar to a boil being careful not to put your face over the pot unless you like vinegar up your nose ?
Then you just pour the liquid into a jar filled with your ramp bulbs and some spices. Seal it all up and you got pickles. Refrigerator pickles to be exact so you need to keep them in the fridge once they have cooled down.
What Spices to Use for Pickled Ramps?
This is where you can have some real fun and use up some forgotten spices in your spice cabinet. I litterily opened up my cabinet and pulled all the spices I had and decided which ones I wanted to use. Pepper was a definitely. And since I think they both bring different flavors to the mix, I used both whole black peppercorns and whole white peppercorns. The beauty of this whole pickling thing is that you can use whole spices without having to grind them. Makes it super easy.
Dill seed was one of my top spices I needed to have. You can't have pickles of any kind without dill. Since I have a lot of dill growing in my garden each year, I have tons of dill seed I save up for this purpose.
Sesame seeds may not be your usual but I thought why not. I had plenty on hand.
If I had some at the time I would have considered using either fennel seeds or mustard seeds. Make this fun and customize your own blend (I did put exactly what I used below for a reference).
Adding Sugar to Pickled Ramps
Some recipes I saw online were calling for us much as ¼ cup of sugar. I did not think that was necessary at all. Adding just a touch of sweetness is what I did. Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar is my go-to sugar that I always use in recipes. It is a non-GMO sugar that is made from sugar cane and is less processed than the regular granulated sugar most people buy.
If you want you can totally leave the sugar out. They still will be plenty delicious.
I was very pleased with how the ramp pickles came out. I put about 2-3 on the burgers I made. Adding their rampy, vinegar flavor ramped up my turkey burgers. The dill really stood out nicely and gave me the feeling of eating a more traditional pickle on a burger.
The best part is that they only took about 5 minutes to make. I put them on my burger a couple hours later. The pickled ramps had enough flavor then. Of course the next day they were even better.
- Measure equals part water and white wine vinegar into a quart sized heat proof jar.
- Pour water and vinegar out into a pan. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil.
- While waiting to come to a boil. Add the ramps and all the spices to the jar.
- Once liquid has reached a boil, immediately remove from the heat and pour into the jar until the jar is full to the top.
- Put the lid on the jar. Allow to cook before refrigerating.
- Give your pickles a good shake before using.