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In a rare display of mental toughness, I was able to squirrel away enough of last year’s pickled ramps to last until this spring’s crop came in. And boy—it looks like a good year for ramps (full disclosure: I say this every spring).
Last weekend I pickled my first few bunches (though I prefer the more mature, bulbous ramps for pickling; they have better crunch) while I munched on the remnants of my last jar labeled “2007 Ramps…Do Not F&*$%ing Touch!” As usual, I ended up with a pile of ramp leaves, which I divided into two piles. One bunch I pureed with some water and stirred into pasta along with some chopped pickled ramps. The other I blanched (to cut down on the young leaves’ acute pungency) and made into pesto with Pecorino, walnuts and lots of lemon juice.
It’s almost time for my own annual ramp-picking expedition. Anyone want to share the coordinates of their secret ramp cache? I didn’t think so.