Pickled Ramps (Wild Leeks)

Pickled Ramps recipe

Ray Kachatorian / Photolibrary / Getty Images

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Canning Time: 10 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
  • Yield: 1 pint

Ramps (Allium tricoccum) are an early springtime treat that is only in season for a few weeks. This recipe provides a way to enjoy them year-round.

Ramps have been overharvested to the point of endangerment in some areas. Make sure yours come from somewhere that they are abundant, or that they have been sustainably harvested. Better yet, grow your own.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ramps (Allium tricoccum)

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 1/4 cups white wine vinegar (or apple vinegar)

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (or other non-iodized salts)

  • 1 small hot chile pepper (chopped or crushed - fresh or dried)

  • 2 to 4 whole spicebush (Lindera benzoin) or allspice berries

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 6 to 8 whole black peppercorns

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Slice off the string roots at the bottom of the ramps and then a little bit above the point where the white part ends and the green leaves separate out. Wash the ramps well. You're only going to pickle those white parts with a bit of the green attached, but don't throw out the leaves; save them for another recipe.

  3. Prepare the brine by putting the water, vinegar, honey, and salt in a small saucepan and stir to combine.

  4. Add the chile pepper, spicebush or allspice, mustard, coriander, cumin, and black pepper.

  5. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

  6. Place a clean 1/2 pint canning jar (it is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe) on its side. Lay the ramps in with the white part toward the bottom of the jar. Laying them with the jar on its side makes it easier to keep the ramps straight so that they will all line up vertically when you set the jar upright.

  7. Pack the ramps in so tightly that you cannot squeeze in a single ramp more. This will ensure that the ramps stay immersed in the brine rather than floating up out of it. Be sure to leave 1/2-inch headspace between the top of the ramps and the rim of the jar (trim the ramps if they are too tall).

  8. Pour the hot brine over the ramps, covering them completely but still leaving 1/4- to 1/2-inch headspace; you can refrigerate leftover brine and use it for future batches of pickles. Screw on canning lids.

  9. Process the pickled ramps in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Wait at least a week for the flavors to develop before sampling (they will be even better after a month).

Tip

  • Pickled ramps will keep, unopened, at room temperature for at least 1 year (they are still safe to eat after that but the quality will decline). Once opened, store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Variation

Quick Version: Skip the boiling water bath and store the jars in the refrigerator. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Serving Suggestions

Pickled ramps are awesome with pate or soppressata.