Pickled Ramps

Pickled Ramps

Ramps, a seasonal treat in the Northeast US, are in danger of being over-harvested. Since they are very slow to cultivate and difficult to farm, foraging is still the main way to find them. A wild ramp patch can be quickly overrun and destroyed. The most sustainable way to harvest ramps, if you find them yourself, is to cut only one leaf of each plant, leaving the bulb and second leaf to continue growing. This is least impactful on the soil, the plant, and the colony as a whole. You’ll find ramps in this form from sustainable vendors. If you have your own private ramp patch with bounty to spare, feel free to use the bulbs, as we did in this recipe.


Yeah, yeah. I know ramp season is over but I made these a while ago and they were so good I decided to blog them anyway. When it comes to ramps, it’s really the green leaves that are incredibly perishable so every once in a while, you can find just the bulbs for sale long after you stop finding the leaves. But what to do with them?

You may have guessed that I’m fond of making pickles. What’s that? Oh, that’s just Matt running in to the room holding a jar of brined pencils, screaming “Obsessed! You’re obsessed”.  Fine. Yes. I’ll admit it. I love pickled red onions, radishes, cucumbers, even grapes.

So it should come as no surprise that when I found the last batch of ramp bulbs hidden away in a overlooked corner of our local market, I immediately decided to preserve them in a delicious, sweet/tart brine.

You can use these pickled ramps anywhere you would use pickled onions (on sandwiches, tacos, bean dishes, etc). I also really love them sliced up in this Orzo Salad with Zucchini, Tomatoes, Olives and Feta.

Pickled Ramps

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Easy, home-made Greek yogurt

Creating your own home-made Greek yogurt is easier than you might think and doesn’t require any special ingredients, just a little time. 

Easy, home-made Greek yogurt

The missus has been out sick this week, so I’ve taken over blog duties. Last weekend I expanded on my bread baking with a really good multigrain recipe from Martha Stewart (to be blogged later) that involved three kinds of flour, two kinds of grain, and four kinds of seeds, and after all that I had to have a good lie down in a darkened room.

For this post, conversely, I decided to try something else I’d never done but keep it as simple as possible. Yogurt is something that we always try to have in stock in the fridge – not only is it a fantastic breakfast option, especially with some toasted nuts or seeds, maple syrup or honey, or (when in season) fresh berries, but it’s a great stand-by for a host of other recipes, such as marinades, dips and saucy dishes such as curries. We often use it in place of sour cream, like in this Lemon Basil Sauce.

We almost always buy the Greek varieties of plain yogurt, which are strained and therefore thicker than the “regular” variety. People have started wars over their preferred brand of Greek yogurt – to avoid bloodshed, I won’t reveal the specific brand we prefer, other to say that it’s the one that’s not Chobani.

Home-made Greek yogurt is so much more delicious than even the best store-bought kind, and is also much more affordable. The best part is that you get to control the quality of the milk that goes into it and we found that even using the best organic, grass-fed, free-range, hormone-free milk was cheaper than buying it already made.

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Spiced Pickled Grapes

Spiced Pickled Grapes
Spiced Pickled Grapes

Spiced Pickled GrapesAt the risk of sounding like a Portlandia sketch, I am a little obsessed with pickling. You take something yummy, plop it in some vinegar, sugar and spices and it tastes even better. And lasts longer! Win-win, right?

When Matt and I lived in Brooklyn, we used to go to this great place called Buttermilk Channel (I say that like we could just waltz right in, la di da, but there was almost always a line down the block. Damn you, Brooklyn!). Anyway, they have a chicken liver mousse that they top with two perfectly sweet/tart pickled grapes. Divine. Since we don’t live stumbling distance from them anymore, I decided to try to make it myself. I know it sounds weird but pickled grapes are really good.

If you swing that way, do yourself a solid and make this easy and delicious Chicken Liver Pâté with Thyme and Brandy and put a couple of these bad boys on top. You can thank me later (or invite me over and we can giggle maniacally about how good this combo is). You could also just put out a bowl of them and eat them by the handful. They would be great alongside a sharp cheese or even in a cocktail.

Spiced Pickled Grapes

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