It. Is. On. It broke 80 degrees in Washington, D.C. yesterday, signaling the return of humidity and a new crop of vegetables. We have a few more weeks before it’s time for tomatoes, but in the meantime, I welcome our spring children: fiddlehead ferns, ramps, asparagus, spring garlic and strawberries.
First up Jackson 20‘s Chef Dennis Marron will teach us how to keep that ramp flavor going after its short season yields to summer produce. I use his tangy ramp vinegar to better Feta and Arugula Spring Rolls, Parsnip, Sweet Potato and Cabbage Couscous Salad, Tiger Eye Beans with Chipotle Cabbage and Dal Palak Dip.
Let us know what you spruce up with ramp vinegar.
Pickled Ramp Vinegar
from Chef Dennis Marron of Jackson 20
2 ea Star Anise
5 ea All Spice
½ Tablespoon White Peppercorn
½ Tablespoon Black Peppercorn
½ Tablespoon Coriander
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 bunch Thyme
5 crushed Garlic Cloves
½ Cup Sugar
¼ Cup Salt
1 Cup white distilled Vinegar
1 Bunch Ramps
1 Cup Champagne Vinegar
Combine spices, herbs, garlic, sugar, salt and the white distilled vinegar in a stainless steel pot. Bring up to a boil, stirring occasionally to get sugar and salt to dissolve. Once the liquid comes to a bubble cut of the heat and let steep for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse your ramps of any dirt and impurities. Trim off the root end and place in a large glass bowl. Strain the hot liquid directly over the ramps. Let sit at room temperature until cool. When cool, cover and place in refrigerator for 2 days. Place two ramps in a glass bottle and fill ½ way with liquid. Top up the rest of the way with Champagne vinegar. Seal the bottles and agitate to mix the liquids.
Place on a shelf and let sit for a few days before using. It will keep for a month or two if sealed and kept in a cool dark place.