A couple of weeks ago, I took a sunny drive out to Holbrook Farm and picked up what had to be the last ramps of the season: they were huge, with big, fat bulbs, and the slightly yellow-green leaves that say the end of ramp season is nigh. It’s been a busy Spring, and my visits to the farm have been few and far between, so it’s just possible that I picked up everything else in the store as well.
I had it in mind to enjoy these ramps on the grill, since it worked so nicely earlier this Spring; but between the fridge stuffed full of my massive haul from the farm, Memorial Day weekend, garden center-inspired deck sprucing and visiting friends, the days got away from me. Enter the time-crunched preserver’s best friend: the dehydrator.
I washed and picked through the ramps: a few of the leaves were past their prime; a few were lightly sautéed and enjoyed in an omelet; and a few got tossed into the ramp powder, for that grassy note of flavor and lovely green hue. I had wanted to put up some leaves in a compound butter, but alas… maybe next year.
This is easy-peasy preserving at its best: coarsely chopped ramps, puréed into a paste, then spread in the dehydrator, or a low oven, to dry. Grind & store. Use as you would onion powder: as a dry rub, on roasted potatoes or french fries, to perk up soups & stews. Anywhere you want that funky ramp flavor.
- 1 large bunch ramps, mostly bulbs with a few leaves
- Clean ramps well, peeling off any slightly slimy outer layers. Trim the roots and reserve most of the leaves for another use. Coarsely chop bulbs and 3 or 4 leaves: add to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse, adding a teaspoon or two of water to help blend, into a chunky paste. Spread paste thinly onto the trays of a dehydrator and dry at 130 degrees F until completely dry and easily crumbled, about 3 to 4 hours. Alternatively, spread paste onto parchment paper over a baking sheet and dry in a low oven for 2 to 3 hours.
- Transfer dried ramp paste to a spice grinder, small food processor, or blender. Grind to a fine powder. Transfer to a clean and very dry jar for storage.
Yields a scant ¼ cup ramp powder.
- You can opt for more of a dried, crumbled herb, a la Joel at Well Preserved, by drying coarsely chopped leaves and bulbs and then grinding.
In an airtight container, preferably away from light, for about 1 year.