Category Archives: pickles

Double Duty: Ramps (Compound Butter & Pickles)

Three steps forward and one step back.

I pack my life into a tiny room but have to leave it for three weeks until I can be myself in my own space again. My parents finally get a closing date on their house but then their lease falls through. I finally make some progress on a difficult project at work only to have to rearrange all the deadlines to put out another fire. The new apartment accepts dogs but has a $300 non-refundable pet fee.

Saturday I woke up to 43 degrees and driving rain, but left my warm waterproof sneakers packed 90 minutes away. Because who expects fall-like Juneau, Alaska weather at the start of Memorial Day weekend in Connecticut? Argh.

This is the part where I usually say that despite the lack of posts, I’ve been cooking great things. Well, folks – that isn’t true this time. The last decent thing I made was made on the fly on my last day at my old house. I’ve told you about that place right? The place where in the spring I can grab ramps outside my door IN MY PAJAMAS if I want – so long as I wear some decent XtraTufs? Man, am I gonna miss that place.

I have been so careful with the ramp patch, too. Harvesting only the greens most of the time, with enough bulbs for one small jar of pickles. But this year? After being so careful in my tiny personal patch for the last two years, I found a whole other carpet. Not sure how I missed it before – blindness in the heat of ramp euphoria, perhaps. And though I still took only one jar’s worth for pickles, I made sure to get the fattest ramps there were.  Because I hope to come back next year, but who knows? Because I wanted to. Or just because.

Of course, I made the decision to make pickles after I had packed away all of my jars. But ever-fleeting ramps are one thing thats always worth digging out a jar.

So three steps forward and one step back. This is my life lately. At least I have by ramp pickles in my fridge and compound butter in my freezer, waiting for after June 1st in my new apartment.

Ramp Pickles by Snowflake Kitchen

Preserved Lemon & Ramp Compound Butter

One stick unsalted butter, softened
Ramp greens (approximately 5 ramps – 10 leaves), cleaned well, dried and finely chopped
One preserved lemon, flesh removed and rind finely chopped
Black pepper to taste

In a perfect world, leave your butter on the counter, go forage your ramps, prep everything and when you come back, it should be soft enough. If you are like me and keep your butter in the freezer, it might take a bit longer, and you might get a bit impatient – so prep ahead of time. Small firm, but not frozen, chunks can be helped along in a food processor. Which – if you’re going to already get dirty, you might as well mix the whole batch in there. Of course you can just as well make quick use of a bowl, mixing utensil and/or your hands.

Like my favorite recipes, this one involves mixing everything together, tasting, and when satisfied, forming into a log/packing into your vessel of choice and freezing until later. The tasting is key here, as is using unsalted butter. The preserved lemons bring plenty of salt to the table for my taste. My 2013 batch of preserved lemons has a nice kick of aleppo pepper, which is really great here, but please use what you have. No preserved lemons? Make them next year, and add salt and chopped lemon rind (but take care to minimize the bitter pith).

Use everywhere from searing scallops to melting over the top of a great steak to serving with crusty bread.

Ramp Fridge Pickles
15-20 ramp bulbs, cleaned, de-rooted
One wide mouth pint mason jar
1/4 cup of white vinegar
Water to cover
One teaspoon salt
One bay leaf
One tablespoon mixed peppercorns
Spring of thyme or rosemary

The best thing about fridge pickles is they take exactly no time to come together. Add your veg in a jar, add your vinegar, salt and spices and top with water. Place in the frige and swirl gently a couple of times over the course of a week, and you have a great accompaniment to cheese, in salad, or finely chopped in place of your usual cukes. They are great sliced thin on top of tacos in place of pickled onions.

Pickled Blues

I was invited to the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market this past Sunday. The weekend’s theme was Blueberries and Bluegrass. After a decent strawberry yield (does anyone else remember last year’s strawberries going on forever?), a quick summer raspberry season and a blink-and-you-miss it cherry season, Connecticut was due for some beautiful and plentiful fruit.

At the beginning of the growing season, I overdose on strawberries. I mean WAY too much. Like six varieties of strawberry jams and two more preserves too much. That said – after I crack open my last jar of strawb something in the bleak midwinter, the anticipation of REAL local taste-like-nothing-else strawberries in June makes them that much sweeter. You can absolutely make blueberry jam, with these very same spices (if, unlike me, you need another jam), but at this point I am in the mood for something different.

I made this preserve for the first time last summer, and in a very double duty kind of way ended up with whole berries and almost another jar of blueberry vinegar. Perfect for vinaigrette, a blueberry soda, or one heckuva blueberry martini.

Hot Pack Pickled Blueberries
Adapted from Hungry Tigress’ Whole Pickled Blueberries
2-3 quarts of blueberries
2 cups 5% apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fenugreek

Tigress does this recipe over two days. While I love the idea, I never have that kind of time or fridge space this time of year. So I heat blueberries, spices and vinegar until just simmering, and then immediately turn off the heat. While you can put the spices in any way you like, I like to put them in a cloth bag or tea ball for easy removal. You can leave them in, but spices have a way of intensifying (for better or worse) in the jar. While the spices infuse in the vinegar (and the vinegar infuses in the blueberries for that matter), heat up your canner. (New to canning? The National Center for Home Preservation is a great resource for boiling waterbath instructions.) When the jars are thoroughly boiled, add the sugar, bring the blues back to a simmer. Simmer for just a minute or two to keep the fruit intact. With a slotted spoon, put the fruit in your jar of choice (I like wide mouth half pints) and top with hot vinegar syrup, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Process for 15 minutes.

Like most pickles, this needs a few weeks to really come into its own. While you can store this pickle with a good seal for up to a year in a cool dark space, I would wait at least two weeks before cracking open your first jar.

This recipe can easily be adapted to stone fruit – plums, peaches, or cherries would be lovely. I dont think other delicate berries would stand up to the process.

You could turn this into a fridge pickle by combining the ingredients and then stopping before the waterbath step. Ladle into a jar of choice, let cool, and refrigerate.

Use vinegar of your choice, but if you intend on canning the recipe, make sure the bottle says 5% acidity. If you want it to be a fridge pickle only, any vinegar is your pleasure.

I love fenugreek in my sweet pickles. Cloves, allspice or bay would also be good additions here.

Windham Gardens CSA Weeks Four and Five

In the Bags: Pickling Cukes, Basil, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Garlic, Kale, Sweet Corn

This is pickle season. I mean, it can be pickle season anytime, in that you can pickle veggies of any season, but what I mean pickling cukes are in season now. My pickling cukes this year were a combination of fail: direct seeded outside extremely late, half eaten by something before they really took off, and of course slugs took the remainder. Luckily, Erin grows some awesome picklers. There will be bread and butters, dill relish, sweet relish, garlic dills… all given as holiday gifts in a few months.

I am clearly not a card-carrying pickle hater. That said, I pretty much don’t eat any of the cucumbers I put up. Processed pickles are good – far beyond any storebought ones – but I think the best pickle is a crispy, cold one. I am firmly in the camp that believes cucumbers are best when they are fresh and not when they are cooked. Hence, I am a fridge pickle devotee.

My fridge pickle recipe is simple: 1) Fill jar with spices, about 1 teaspoon each of your choice of fenugreek, coriander, mustard, dill, garlic, red chile flake, etc. 2) Fill jar with cucumbers, sliced in coins or spears 3) Fill 1/3 with vinegar. Since these are fridge pickles, you can stray from the 5% white vinegar mandate. 4) Fill 2/3 with water. 5) Cover, refrigerate for at least a week before tasting.

Basil: Pesto & Infused Vinegar

A very double duty kind of use. The basil leaves go into the food processor with toasted nuts (usually cashews), the last of the garlic scapes, salt, pepper, and enough olive oil to blend everything together. I freeze it in ice cube trays or small portions. When I defrost it, then I add more oil and parmesan before serving.

But you don’t get just basil leaves in your CSA. You also get stems, and sometimes flowers. These go into a quart jar of vinegar for later use in salads, vinaigrettes and marinades. What’s your favorite early summer CSA use?

Windham Gardens CSA Week Three

Just before Hurricane Irene hit, I took to hurricanning like a lot of folks. I put up jam, I made strategic fruit choices, and I canned a METRIC TON of squash pickles. I was on a mission to empty our – ahem – entire produce drawer of the zukes and yellow squash. I don’t even remember how many I made, just that the mandolined squash slices filled my 10 quart food safe bucket. I mean, we sort of knew that we would lose power, we just didn’t know we would be out for over a week. I didn’t have a particular recipe, I just made it up with what I had on hand. But now, in June, as I open the second to last(!) quart of my mixed squash pickles, I think this is a recipe that I will keep around for the less desperate times too.

In the bag this week: yellow squash, zucchini, greens, corn, garlic & herbs

Mixed Squash Pickles
Thinly sliced “summer” squash – zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan, etc.
4 cups 5% white vinegar
4 cups water
4 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Bay leaves
Smashed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon each fenugreek, yellow mustard, brown mustard, black peppercorns, coriander, red chile flake

Prep your canner & set the jars to boil. Try to cut the squash in the thinnest slices possible. Using a mandoline really helps to slice the squash uniformly. As you cut your squash, fill empty jars of the same size (i.e. if you plan on putting up quarts, estimate with quarts). Don’t pack the jars too tightly – leave a little room for brine. This way, you know how many jars you will fill.

At this time, prep your brine. Add the water, vinegar, salt and sugar and bring to a simmer.

Mix the spices together, and put 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Add 1-2 garlic cloves and 1-2 bay leaves per jar. Add squash to the jars, leaving about 1 inch headspace. Top with brine, and bubble to remove any leftover air. Leave 1/4″ headspace. Top with hot, wet lids and process for 15 minutes. Keeps for one year in a dark, cool place – but as always, refrigerate after opening.

Smoky Pickled Green Tomatoes with Garlic

Does anyone else feel like they need a day off just to stay on top of all of the things (ahem, produce) in their kitchen? Ah, shoulder season… wait – still? Is it still shoulder season? It must be because there are still tomatoes on my counter. It should have slowed down by now, but somehow in mid-October due to the ridiculous weather we’ve been having, I am still struggling to stuff summer in a jar. Of course the apples and pears won’t be around forever, so I can’t put them off much longer either.

In these rapid fire days, the time and effort to work through a recipe and – frankly – to actually take a non-shitty photograph is rare. So, as you might have noticed, I have been a slacker about the blog. Once things slow down and the frost comes (read: and there’s not a whole lot else to do but blog in these snowy parts) I will be back in force. I hope.

In the meantime, here’s a recipe I threw together with the last of the green tomatoes from our CSA. It’s got garlic and pimentón, and while I haven’t cracked a jar yet it smelled pretty delicious putting together. I plan to crack it open in the dead of winter with some braised-all-day roast pork or beef or chicken. Probably in a full on nor’easter while dreaming of the crazy times we call shoulder season.

Smoky Pickled Green Tomatoes with Garlic
5ish pounds green (and some pink on the inside) tomatoes
one small white onion, sliced into slivers
six cloves of garlic, chopped/sliced
smoked paprika/pimentón (The good stuff please.)
black peppercorns
bay leaves
Brine: 1.5 quarts white vinegar, 1.5 quarts water, 6 tablespoons kosher salt

First thing’s first – turn on the canner and give your jars of choice a dunk to sterilize. Because its shoulder season and the canner hasn’t left the stove – you’re already halfway there. Bring a half vinegar-half water brine to a boil in another pot. I had leftover brine with this ratio, but no matter how much I try, I always seem to have leftover brine no matter what I do. Core and chop the green tomatoes into small chunks and toss with the garlic and onions. Add them to your hot jars. Top with smoked paprika – 1 teaspoon for doubters and 1 tablespoon for true believers. By true believers – I mean people who just can’t say no to putting it in everything. Don’t worry if you’re not there yet – you will be. Top with just off the boil brine, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Add hot, wet lids and rings and process for 10 minutes. Enjoy in a few months, when you’ve bottled up as much of summer’s bounty in your pantry as you can and you’re finally relaxing a little. If you can ever bring yourself to relax, that is…

Internetless Bread and Butter Pickles

We got a pretty crazy storm last Tuesday night. There were severe thunderstorms and sightings of funnel clouds. Yes, in Connecticut. We had a pretty good scare when a branch came down on our roof. We briefly lost power and after it came back on we thought everything was ok. But no… our internet was out! Tragedy of tragedies. Luckily, a pile of pickling cukes were on the counter calling my name.

Sometimes you don’t realize just how plugged in you are until you disconnect. Focusing on a quiet night in the kitchen instead of a screen is the ultimate head-clearer. Its recentering, for lack of a better word. In the past, I’ve run away to the wilderness of Southeast Alaska or Maine. Unfortunately that’s not in my financial cards this summer. The Kitchn posted an article about electricity-free Fridays. Starting the weekend off right – I find that incredibly appealing. The last few Fridays I’ve headed directly from work to my favorite PYO orchard for a few hours of quiet picking. Its the same idea.

Where was I? Oh right – pickles. I tend to make three types of pickled veg. Fridge pickles (the laboratory), savory pickles (a blend of mustard seeds, coriander, dill, garlic, fenugreek, and salt) or sweet pickles (mustard, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and sugar). Cucumbers that are put up tend to fall into either garlic dill or bread & butter categories. I always save a jar to go straight into the fridge so the temptation to open a jar is quelled. For a little while.

B&B Cucumber Pickles
5ish pounds of pickling cukes
Two white onions
Ice water
Whole cloves
Yellow and black mustard seeds
Coriander seeds
Celery seeds
Bay leaves
White vinegar
Whole peppercorns

Whenever I start pickling, I measure. It methodical so as not to produce waste. Cut the blossom and stem ends off of the cukes and slice into coins. I then put the coins into jars. I don’t have a goal to preserve x jars of pickles – I have a goal to preserve the amount of cukes I have… and despite doing this for a while now when I guess I am always off. This acts as a rough measurement (yet more accurate than guessing). I ended up with three quarts and some leftover for the fridge. I took the cukes out and put them in the ice water bath for a few hours.

After dinner, I fired up the canner to sterilize the quart jars. I drained the crisp cukes and tossed them with thinly sliced onions. Each hot jar should be packed full, but leaves 1/2″ of headspace. On top, add a tablespoon each of yellow mustard seeds, black mustard seeds, celery seeds, whole cloves, coriander seeds and black peppercorns. In the past, I’ve also added bay leaf and/or a cinnamon stick. I took an empty quart jar as a measuring cup and added 1.5 quarts of white vinegar and 1.5 quarts of water to a pan on the stove, with an additional 6 tablespoons of salt (1 tablespoon per 2 cups of brine). As this was for a sweet pickle, two cups of sugar also went in. Fill each jar to barely cover the pickles-to-be (leaving 1/2″ headspace). Top with hot, wet lids and rings and process for 10 minutes.

Its a great way to reset on a weeknight. How do you reset?

Asian Fridge Cuke Pickles

First, there were fridge scapes, now we have fridge pickles. I had the privilege of attending a homesteading class offered by my awesome local farmers market. The class was about pickling. Now, I can do canned vinegar pickles. In fact, I overdid them last year. I was that girl who went to her local farmer that sold cukes by the bushel and bought half a bushel. That’s TWENTY POUNDS of cukes. Don’t get me wrong, – they were good, but I started bringing pickles to every potluck – and I felt like taking a class could offer some inspiration for 2011 pickling.

Most canned pickle recipes start with 5% vinegar and never dilute it down by more than half. This leads to a very strong but very safe pickle… and also a pickle that can get pretty boring. You can’t play with them much. But therein lies the beauty of fridge pickles – you do get to play! We had the most amazing cukes in the homesteading class – fresh and crisp – and they had only been pickling for a week! I had never tasted such a fresh, clean and crisp pickle.

Naturally, I had to come home and tinker with it. Here is the result – spicy, savory (umami-y?) while still clean and crunchy. Perfect with grilled food or as a snack. No hot boiling water canner required – these are a must-make.

Asian Fridge Cukes
6-8 kirby or boston pickling cucumbers (as many that fit in a quart jar), ends trimmed and cut into spears
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon red chile flake
1 heaping tablespoon chile garlic paste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Trim the cukes. Toast the sesame seeds, peppercorns, chile flake in the toaster oven or a dry saute pan until fragrant – 3-5 minutes. I then like to add half the flavoring ingredients in the bottom of the jar, then pack in the cukes. I top them with the vinegar, and the other half of the spices, pastes, sauces and oils. Fill the jar to the top with water and wait a week.

*Note: This is NOT a canning safe recipe. I’m sure you could adapt it to one, but some of the ingredients give me pause. Pickling is one place where I am only really comfortable experimenting in the fridge.

1. Change out the white vinegar for rice wine vinegar.
2. Add additional veggies – scallions or onions.
3. Other flavors: ginger, mirin, hoisin sauce? Miso could be interesting.

Other Fridge Pickle Inspiration
1. If you want to stick in the asian pickle vein, AJ at Handjobs for the Home also has an asian pickle recipe – he skins the cukes and adds sugar for a sweet note. Marisa at Food in Jars also makes a version with lime and mint. Yum!
2. Garlic Dill pickles transfer well to the fridge. I use dill weed and dill seed in mine for extra dill goodness.
3. Who says you’re limited to cukes? Lana at Never Enough Thyme makes a gorgeous looking pickle in Weck Jars with halved cherry tomatoes, vidalia onions and sweet peppers. It’s spiked with thyme (of course) – lovely.

Fridge Scapes

Ever just have too much preserving to do? Yes, even in a small scale kitchen like mine. I’ve had these great CSA garlic scapes sitting on my counter for the last week, gradually looking more and more sad. After conquering the last of my strawberries (any thoughts on what to do with ten liters of puree?) I finally had a chance to ponder the scapes.

I really like garlic. It goes in most everything I cook. Its not quite, “Hi, my name is Kate, and I have a problem with garlic…” but its close. The garlic scapes were initially meant for a frittata, but I wasn’t going to turn on the oven on super humid day. We were long past switching from fans to AC but still stubbornly avoiding reality – so you can bet that not only was I not firing up the oven but also not firing up the canner. Boiling a small pot for brine was about all I could handle. Fridge scapes to the rescue!

Fridge Scapes
As many garlic scapes as you can cram into your jar(s) of choice
Spices per jar: 1-2 dashes red pepper flakes, 1 garlic clove, 3 basil leaves, 10 peppercorns
Brine: a la Kate @ Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking: 1 part white vinegar, 1 part filtered water, 1 tablespoon salt per part.

1. Stuff spices in jar.
2. Stuff scapes in jar.
3. Top with boiling brine.
4. Wait two weeks. I mean, try and wait two weeks.
5. Inhale.

I’m still on step four. Its torturous.

Brine Options:
1. Asian scapes: With toasted sesame seeds or a touch of sesame oil, some soy and fresh chile. These are fridge pickles – you can play with the flavors a little more than with traditional pickles when you don’t have to worry so much about pH.
2. Moroccan scapes: preserved lemon and a dollop of harissa in the brine. Yes, please!
3. Dill or Bread & Butter scapes: like cucumber pickles, only garlickier.

Scape Uses:
1. A little bread, a little wine, a little cheese, maybe some Charcutepalooza? and some pickled scapes – I call that dinner.
2. Bring them to your pickle party!
3. Bring them to your local food swap. Coventry’s next one is next Sunday – maybe you can join us?

Forays into the World of Foraging

Foraging is the new hot thing. It’s not just about local food anymore – it’s about über local, wild foods, picked YOURSELF. That’s right – this is not for the faint of heart. This is stomping around in the woods, braving mud and creepy crawlies and thorns all to get a few plants.

Have I grossed you out yet? Good. Now for the disclaimer. You have to be really careful when foraging. Know where you are going (you might end up trespassing or be in a place you don’t have permission to take plants from), exactly what kind of plant you’re looking for (if you’re wrong it might not be edible or alternatively toxic) and exactly how much you can take. You need to know what you’re doing – or else. [Cue the menacing music] Seriously – you could end up in a world of hurt or even dead if you’re not sure.

I decided to take a low-key peek around our yard. If I didn’t find anything, no harm no foul – and I would avoid that whole wrongful entrance without proper authority or consent upon the real property of another thing. (And between you and me I wouldn’t look like a complete moron in public staring at the ground not knowing what to look for.) So, I started close to home. We are living in a house that is surrounded by tall pine and oak trees and bordered by a small river. The trees leave us very shaded most of the time – our front “lawn” is a combination of grass and moss. We also have a steep hill down to the river with lots of mud and leaves – very swampy.

Inspired by Peter at Cook Blog, I began the hunt for wild alliums. Not only because his pickled wild garlic looks great in jars, but because alliums are super safe. Anything that smells like onions or garlic generally won’t kill you – good territory for the newbie forager. Lo and behold – our mossy lawn had a bunch of wild garlic!

Super easy to spot, though I did confuse them with tall grass at first.

As Peter says, it pays to be discerning here (which I, of course, figured out after the fact). Wild Garlic tends to grow in clumps, as little cloves branch off from the main bulb. The big bulbs naturally have the widest and tallest stems. I ended up picking whole bunches at first – and painstakingly cleaned those tiny bulbs. Anyway – be picky! Trust me. I found enough here for one jar of wild garlic pickles. Could I have made more? Absolutely. In fact, I see wild garlic/onions EVERYWHERE now. But a) I didn’t want to dig up the whole lawn and b) I want to make sure I’ll use them before making a ton. This way, I can save more for next year’s harvest.

Not picking everything in sight and saving more for next year is half the battle with foraging. There’s quite the controversy about ramps (also known as wild leeks). Ramps are prized for a variety of reasons – they’re delicious, they’re the first bit of fresh greens that surface after a long winter, and they hold a lot of tradition as a foraging prize. They’re becoming very trendy in higher end restaurants, and as a result the US Forest Service thinks we’re overharvesting. The thing is with ramps – you don’t just take that year’s growth. You dig up the whole thing, like with other wild alliums – the whole bulb comes out.

I really, really wanted to find ramps. Though they do carry them at Whole Foods, they always seem wilted and lifeless and don’t last more than a few days. Much to my surprise, I found them in droves near the river. Naturally, on a typical April day (read: cold and rainy), I hauled out my Xtratufs and went down the muddy hill. Not on the scale of what The 3 Foragers seem to find, but plenty there all the same. Most importantly – plenty to leave for next year. I probably picked about 20%.

The haul: wild garlic, ramps and some dandelion greens. Not bad for a first outing – huh?

So what do to with the bounty? First and foremost – be prepared to preserve it quickly. The wild garlic is fairly sturdy but the ramps started wilting pretty quickly. You just went through all this trouble – no sense in throwing it all away. Everything needs a VERY good rinse. I chopped the ramps greens from the stems and soaked them separately (like you would leeks) to make sure all the grit was out. I ended up with two quart size bags of greens to freeze, and about a quart’s worth of stems/bulbs. In retrospect – I probably picked too many small ramps, but once I had picked them I wanted to use all of them. Another batch of pickles was born.

Pickled Saffron Ramps with Sage
Adapted from Hank Shaw’s Pickled Ramp Bulbs with Saffron
1 quart ramp bulbs/stems
2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch saffron threads
fresh sage
2 bay leaves

Make sure you have the correct jar for the job – I always measure my pickles in the jar before I put the jar in the waterbath canner to heat up. While the canner heats, I make the brine in another pot. I use a 2:1 vinegar-water ratio, with one tablespoon of salt. This means 2 cups of white vinegar, one cup of water, and one tablespoon of salt for this recipe, but if you were to double it it would be 4 cups of vinegar, 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt – you get the idea. You will have a little brine leftover – which I always use to quick pickle any veggies left in the fridge without processing. Anyway – proceed according to normal waterbath canning instructions (if you’re unsure always consult the Ball Blue Book): boil the jars, pour boiling water over the lids and rings, and boil your brine. The combination of hot jars + hot food + warm, wet lids minimizes the chance for something to go wrong. I pack the ramps and bay and sage leaves into the jars and top with hot brine, and put in the waterbath for 10 minutes. Yields one wide-mouth quart.

Pickled Wild Garlic
1 quart wild alliums (I think there might have been a few stray onions in my batch)
2:1 ratio vinegar brine
1 tablespoon salt
coriander seeds
red pepper flake
2 bay leaves

Same idea as above: hot jars + hot brine + wet, warm lids and rings. Also yields 1 wide mouth quart. A great first foraging project!

Local, homegrown, home foraged AND gorgeous – what’s not to like?

Other Wild Allium Ideas:
-Kaela at Local Kitchen has a great ramp roundup. I must try her Chicken Braised in White Wine and Ramps.
-Joel at Well Preserved uses the whole plant – even dehydrates the roots! Imagine crunchy oniony garlicy bits sprinkled in your morning eggs or over a bowl of soup… even more proof I need to get a dehydrator and/or figure out how to do this in the oven.
-I found this spoonbread recipe from the New York Times. Though it calls for green chiles, I think it would be lovely with some ramps greens and some goat or cheddar cheese.
Peter takes the rest of his wild alliums and makes them into a pesto. I saved my greens to do just this – but man was it strong. I had to vent the kitchen while they were in the food processor! Just one word of advice – chop the greens before you put them in. Trust me:

Wild allium revenge.