This recipe from Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla's new cookbook, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, is a wonderful way to preserve the unique flavor of ramps, wild onions which are uncultivated and only grow for a brief spell in the spring, for use year round.
These are used in the Ramp Mayonnaise, which is served with their Smoked Potatoes.
Notes: The chefs recommend subbing Chinese garlic chives, processed the exact same way, if ramps are unavailable.
It's important to note that their measurement of salt is based specifically on the use of Diamond brand kosher salt; even other kosher salts have different weights by volume, so the amounts would not be the same.
- Yield:Makes 3 pt/550 g
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:At least 3-4 weeks
- 3 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 cups/480 ml water
- 2 lb/910 g ramps, root ends trimmed
In a nonreactive container, dissolve the salt in the water to make a brine. Add the ramps and top with a weight to keep them submerged in the brine. Seal the container, using a lid with an airlock, if you have one. If you have sealed it without an airlock, open the container every few days or so to release carbon dioxide buildup, and check for mold. Place in a clean, well-protected, low-light area with an ambient temperature of 60° to 68°F/16° to 20°C until the ramps taste sour, 3 to 4 weeks.
Transfer the ramps and brine to one or more nonreactive airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 1 year. Their flavor becomes less intense and more nuanced as they age. We like them best after about 6 months.