First of all - Stay Safe everyone!!!!
Next stay sane.
So when the retail shops you sell to close and that income stream suddenly dries up, you put on your pioneer hat and forage.
I now have half a freezer full of Ramp cubes just waiting to be made into the most amazing pesto at a moment's notice. Hopefully not every night but it is almost that good.
I make these concentrated cubes with only Ramps and olive oil. Then later add only romano and nuts and more olive oil. You'll see recipes with lemon and parsley and all kinds of stuff. Don't do it.You don't need anything else to get in the way of the flavor of Ramps.
Do some research! Learn how to identify Ramps. I searched many different botanical and food sites and looked up the plants that could be mistaken for Ramps so I could learn the differences. Everyone needs to do this research for themselves and ask fellow longtime foragers. Seriously - Do some research!
You really don't need those bulbs to get the amazing Ramp garlic'y onion'y flavor. Ramps take up to 7 years to seed and up to 18 months to germinate. That's a really long time and you can destroy your Ramp patch in the woods pretty quickly by taking the bulbs.
Here's my Luna with a beautiful patch of Ramps in northwestern Connecticut.
|You've heard of a "Truffle Pig" well this is|
Luna my "Ramp Gathering Dog".
Rinse in a few water baths removing extraneous materials and dirt.
|Rinse in cold water.|
Weigh out and separate into one pound batches.
Cut lengthwise trying to at least half each leaf.
Then cut crosswise into no larger than 1 inch sections. (I didn’t do this the first time, it seeming easier to blanch, but got a stringy mess instead.)
Blanch for 15 seconds in boiling water.
|Really, only 15 seconds|
Scoop blanched ramps into cold water.
|Cold water bath in bowl.|
Drain into colander.
Squeeze all the water out.
|Grab and squeeze|
Put ramps into blender.
Add 1/2 cup of olive oil to the 1 pound batch of ramps - I use a good extra virgin.
Blend until smooth.
You may have to add a bit more olive oil.
Should look like this.
To use for Ramp Pesto (2 servings):
Thaw 2 cubes per 1/2 pound of pasta
(I like Rotini to hold all the good stuff).
While pasta is cooking, toast 1/4 cup of pine nuts or walnuts in a cast iron pan with no oil, stirring frequently.
Add to the thawed Ramps along with 1/4 cup grated Romano and at least a 1/4 cup of olive oil.