I have been on a bit of a pickling binge lately. I have had some successes and some failures. I was "knot" so psyched about the Japanese Knotweed pickles... Knotweed is an invasive wild plant, similar to bamboo and it grows everywhere upstate. The red shoots are edible in the early spring and have a rhubarb like flavor. I thought it would be interesting to pickle them. It was not good. The rhubarb- ness that people talk about was a bit of a stretch for me. The pickles ended up tasting like swamp water! In order to combat such failures I simply move on to the next thing. In this case, it is pickled ramps.There is no going wrong with pickled ramps. I made a few batches last year but the season is so short and they are so tasty, they never last more than a week or two in our house. I am into small batch; make that VERY small batch canning. I can't deal with the jars sitting around for months. I know that is the whole idea, but I tend to overdo it and make 200 jars of blackberry jam at a time so I have been attempting super small batch these past few years and pickling and canning has been a lot more reasonable. My secret pickling ingredient is juniper. I have been loving the wild, herby pine forest taste of juniper. It has become a regular addition top all my pickles.
You can use this brine for any quick pickle.
Quick Coriander Juniper Pickled Ramps
Makes roughly 1 quart jar
2 cups white wine vinegar
1-teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1-teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon dried juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon crushed juniper berries
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper fkes
1 teaspoon black Malabar peppercorns
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
2 bunches of ramp about roughly a half a pound
Rinse the ramps under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
Gently peel back the outer most layer of the ramp and discard. This outermost transluscent membrane can be a bit slimy, this is what you want to peel off.
Cut the hairy root ends off the cleaned ramps and discard.
If you are using the bulb end of the ramps for pickling, cut them just above where the pink stem ends. This will give you the bulb end for pickling and the greens for sautéing.
To Make The Brine:
Add the spices and sugar to the 2 cups of white wine vinegar
Heat to a boil in a non-reactive pot
Turn off and allow steeping for 20 minutes for the spices to infuse
In the mean time, prep the ramp.
After 20 minutes, reheat the brine to a slow simmer.
Divide the ramp into thirds and drop into the brine for 20 seconds.
Remove after 20 seconds with a slotted spoon and set aside.
The ramp stems will turn a more vivid pink.
When all the ramps have been run through the brine, turn it off an allow it to cool.
Place the pickled ramps in a 1-quart, sterilized Weck or Ball jar or some other sterilized airtight storage container.
When the brine has cooled, pour the remaining brine over the ramps.
Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least a day before eating!
The pickled ramps will last for a couple of weeks in your refrigerator.
To see an archive of ramp images go here.