Do you want to make some pickled ramps?
You can find them at the beginning of spring, when the ground is still moist, in early May. First, look for a patch in the woods in a damp area around trees. There might be maple, black cherry, hop-hornbeam or birch in the vicinity.
What are they and what do they look like?
Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are part of the onion family. They grow in the ground and every part of them is edible. The leaves are thick, green and flat. They grow right from the ground with a very short, red stem. To make sure they are ramps, you break a leaf off and smell it. If it has an oniony smell, it’s a ramp.
How do you harvest them?
You dig them up at the base of the plant, like six inches deep, making sure you get the bulb. Make sure you put the dirt back, and leave some ramps for someone else and for them to grow back.
How do you pickle them?
First, clean them, shake the roots in water to get off all the dirt. Cut the roots off at the end of the bulb. Cut the leaves off at the top of the bulb. (You can use the leaves for stir fries, and other things.) Then, boil vinegar, salt, sugar, and water, according to the recipe you are using. Pour it into a jar with however many ramps you have ready, plus a full dried jalapeño for a little spice (optional). Put in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 days or longer to enjoy your wonderful pickled ramps.