Make Ahead

Sweet & Spicy Pickled Ramps

April 24, 2010
4.3 Stars
Author Notes

The ramp is a vegetable that needs to be treated like two dishes in one plant. I chop off the leaves just below the greenery and immediately saute them in a hot pan with a touch of olive oil. They puff like jade-green blimps, and they're a fantastic side dish for steak. The stems and bulbs have a different destiny... inside a mason jar. This easy pickling recipe is based on a brine I learned from Chef Cardoz of Tabla, and it's great when used to pickle anything from cauliflower to red onions. Although the ramps are terrific in savory cocktails, we usually chop them and throw them on sandwiches or in salads. - MissGinsu —MissGinsu

Test Kitchen Notes

Ramps make for terrific condiments, and it turns out, a terrific pickle. Here the sweet pickling liquid eases their feisty onion flavor and the spices hang in the back, there to support and nothing more. If you have a bunch of ramps and 10 minutes to spare, you can have a plentiful jar of ramp pickles at your fingertips. - A&M —The Editors

  • Prep time 72 hours
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 1 quart jar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seed
  • 2 pieces dried red chili peppers
  • 1/2 pound ramp bulbs (with stems)
In This Recipe
  1. Wash the ramp bulbs very well, discarding any loose membrane around the bulb. Make sure the leaves and any root material is trimmed away.
  2. Mix sugar, vinegar, mustard, fennel, coriander, fenugreek, chilies and cloves in a suitably sized pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, put the ramp bulbs into a clean, sanitized glass quart jar.
  4. When the brine comes to a boil, carefully pour it into the jar, covering the ramps. Leave at least 1 inch of space at the top of the jar, then cap tightly, allow to cool and refrigerate for three or more days.
  5. After three days, your ramps should be ready to enjoy on their own or as a condiment, but you can brine them for longer, and they'll keep (chilled) for months.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midge
  • fiveandspice
  • MissGinsu
  • Denise
  • mrslarkin

12 Reviews

Jane April 28, 2019
when you say brine for longer, does that mean at room temp? And then they will last for months in the refrigerator? Could you do a water bath for longer storage?
Midge May 12, 2013
Just made my second batch of these. I practically had to ration the first batch they were so good. Look forward to trying your asparagus suggestions below.
fiveandspice May 10, 2010
I just had a sandwich with thinly sliced lamb, a little goat cheese, apricot preserves, and a nice layer of pickled ramps. FABULOUS!
Author Comment
MissGinsu May 12, 2010
Glad you liked 'em. I usually eat these on a juicy burger topped with some good,.sharp cheddar, but just reading the ingredient list for your sandwich is making me ravenous...

clintonhillbilly May 10, 2010
Wait step 2 mentions cloves but I didn't see them on the ingredient list. Are there supposed to be cloves?
Author Comment
MissGinsu May 12, 2010
I totally forgot to add the cloves! Yes. Add 2-3 whole cloves to the brine if you have them on hand. The recipe is still tasty without them, but they're a nice touch. Thanks for noticing!
Jack R. May 9, 2010
These are so tasty!
Author Comment
MissGinsu May 6, 2010
Hooray! I hope that the cooks who can't find ramps will try out this recipe with sliced red onions or the white sections of scallions, because ramps are sometimes tough to track down, and it'd be a shame to miss out on the fun of super-quick pickling.
Denise May 6, 2010
Perfect. I love a good pickle. Congrats!
mrslarkin May 6, 2010
Congrats! These sound very yummy.
Author Comment
MissGinsu April 29, 2010
Thanks! The brine makes a really nice vinaigrette, too. It's sweet and sour and good for drizzling over grilled asparagus.
gluttonforlife April 28, 2010
These look fantastic! I am trying immediately.