Pickled ramps — come spring every year, it seems like they're on the menu of every trendy restaurant. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not that hard to do at home; it's pretty much like pickling anything else. Ramps, if you've never had them, are wild leeks that taste a lot like scallions, with a sharp onion-y flavor and herbal notes.
- 2 7/8 Cups champagne vinegar
- 1 1/2 Cup scant water
- 2 Cups scant sugar
- 4 Teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10 Cups trimmed ramps
In a medium-sized pot, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Keep hot.
Scald 4 pint jars in a large pot of simmering water fitted with a rack — you will use this pot to process the jars. Right before filling, put the jars on the counter. In each jar, place 1 clove garlic and ¼ teaspoon of the red pepper flakes. Meanwhile, soak the lids in a pan of hot water to soften the rubber seal.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the ramps for 1 minute. Drain and pack into the jars. Transfer the brine into a pitcher and pour into the jars, leaving ½-inch space from the rim of the jar. Check the jars for air pockets, adding more brine if necessary. Seal with lids and screw on the bands until snug but not tight.
Place the jars in the pot with the rack and add enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes; start the timer when the water reaches a boil. Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let cool completely.