Pickled Chicago (Pickled Ramps) Recipe

Ramps are a wild onion found in clumps in Northeastern woods all the way to Canada. The are in season only in the spring. But they are similar to scallions and green onions and this recipe works fine on them. In fact it works on any onions!

According to historians, the river that ran by the native American village near the mouth of the giant lake was lined with wild onions, most likely ramps or wild leeks. In the The Encyclopedia of ChicagoPlaceholder, Ann Durkin Keating says "The name 'Chicago' derives from a word in the language spoken by the Miami and Illinois peoples meaning 'striped skunk,' a word they also applied to the wild leek (known to later botanists as Allium tricoccum). This became the Indian name for the Chicago River, in recognition of the presence of wild leeks in the watershed. When early French explorers began adopting the word, with a variety of spellings, in the late seventeenth century, it came to refer to the site at the mouth of the Chicago River."

Click here to read more...

Average: 4.5 (6 votes)

Average Rating - Votes are tabulated end of day

Please rate this recipe ONLY after you cook it: 

Share This Recipe:

Print Recipe

pickled ramps

Sweet, sour, tangy pickled onions or ramps are a great relish on the side, or topping on BBQ and grilled foods. Ramps are much smaller than leeks, more like scallions, and are most tender and tasty in spring. Like scallions, served raw, they add a pungent bite to many dishes but they truly shine when pickled.

Course. Appetizer. Side Dish. Snack.

Cuisine. American.

Makes. About 1 quart of pickles

Takes. About 40 minutes to make, and 5 days to age

Ingredients

1 pound ramps, including leaves

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup white wine vinegar or distilled vinegar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seed

1/2 teaspoon whole celery seeds

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 whole bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon Morton Coarse Kosher Salt (read more about the science of salt here)

About the ramps. You can use regular old onions in this recipe and they are just as good.

Method

1) Clean the ramps, removing the large green leaves. You can use them in a vegetable dish, or wilt them in a pan and serve them as a topping on meats or other dishes. They're good on pizza or chopped into rice and couscous.

2) Combine everything except the ramps and bring to a boil. Keep the liquid in the hot pan and let it cool for about 30 minutes. Refrigerate.

3) Boil a pot of water and drop the ramps in for about 20 seconds. This is called blanching and it alters the chemistry of the bulbs, and pastuerizes them. Quickly drain the pot into a colander and run cold water over the ramps for about a minute to shock them and rapidly stop the cooking.

4) Put the ramps in a very clean jar and cover them with the cool pickling liquid. Refrigerate for 5 days before using, and keep refrigerated for months.

"I give you Chicago. It is not London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from snout to tail."HL Mencken

Ramps are like other onions, an underground bulb and long tall green grasslike stalks. Ramps are much smaller than leeks, more like scallions, but the leaves are flatter. They are most tender and tasty in spring, and as with robins, when they arrive I know spring is really here. Onion stalks are the first thing edible to push up in spring, and a chomp on raw ramps is my first celebratory rite of spring.

Ramps propagate rapidly and a handful planted in spring will produce a bucketful by late summer. Like scallions, served raw, they add a pungent bite to salads, and can be stir fried or grilled as a side dish or topping for meats.

When pickled, they are sweet, sour, tangy, and a great relish to accompany BBQ and grilled foods. Add them to coleslaw. Top a burger or pulled pork sandwich. Or any sandwich for that matter. Toss into a salad or into grilled veggies.

I fell for the pickled ramps by Chef Rick Gresh as a side dish. I asked for his permission to publish his recipe and he gave me the go-ahead with the request that I disclose that his recipe is based on one by eminent Chef Tom Colichio. With his permission, here's Chef Gresh's recipe for pickled ramps, slightly modified by Yours Truly. Try them on a pulled pork sammie or on hot dogs. Please note, these are refrigerator pickles, which means they must be kept chilled.

Meathead Goldwyn

Meathead is the founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, and is also known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", a New York Times Best Seller and named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

What people say about us

"The world’s leading outdoor cooking resource." Larry Olmsted, Forbes.com

"An amazing compendium of barbecue knowledge." Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue, Austin

"I was crowned World Brisket Champion at the Jack Daniels World Championships using your Big Bad Beef Rub. Your site has played a pivotal role in my development." John Lattuca, WeekendWarriorBBQ, Montreal, Canada

"This meal was as memorable as my first sex, only better." Marie Overholt, San Francisco, CA

"The BBQ community is so extremely fortunate to have someone as passionate and articulate as you." Frank Ostini, Chef Winemaker, Hitching Post II Restaurant & Winery, Buellton, CA

"I adapted your brisket rub recipe this summer and my customers love it (8,000 pounds served in 6 months)! My brisket even won 'best beef' in the Sonoma County Harvest Fair." Chef Larry Vito, BBQ Smokehouse, Sebastapol, CA

"Meathead is the best writer covering this part of the culinary world." John Markus, Producer, BBQ Pitmasters TV show

"The Rosetta Stone of BBQ." Bill Lamb

"I got laid last night because of your pastrami" Name withheld for obvious reasons

"Knowledgeable, smart, hilarious, and self-effacing." Laurel Stone

"I have worked as a professional cook in high end French restaurants for several years, so when I hit the internet looking for some BBQ info, I was really pleased to find an in depth and expansive site that had all the tips I was looking for." Aaron Ettlin, Portland, OR

"A Famous Dave's commercial came on claiming the best ribs in the world, and my honey shook his head and said, 'nope, it's right here.' Many, many thanks!" Red Taylor, San Francisco, CA

"We had a fantastic season winning two Grand Championships and five Reserve Grand Championships. I always appreciate referring to your site. Thanks." Steve, Grills Gone Wild, IA

"I have always loved cooking ribs but with our new gas grill they were never as good as charcoal. Well that all changed last night when I made the greatest ribs I have ever tasted. My wife wanted to know if I bought them somewhere and then claimed I cooked them myself." Allen Nicley, Mont Alto, PA

"The Memphis Dust and the pulled pork are excellent! I had to dang near run people out of my house!" Aswad Johnson

"I was about to buy a new smoker. After reading your article about setting up a horizontal smoker, I decided to try rehabilitating something the previous owner of my house left in the backyard. Total investment: $100. I figure I saved at least $500!" Coleman Shelton, Calvert City, KY

"Amazingribs.com is the most information packed barbecue site known to man." Pitmaster and BBQ Columnist George Hensler

"AmazingRibs.com is the world's go-to place for a barbecue treasure house of reliable information." Ardie "Remus Powers" Davis, author of numerous barbecue books

"This is my new go-to method for prime rib." Candy Weaver, President, Kansas City Barbeque Society

"We've won five Grand Championships and two Reserve Championships in the past three months. Learned much about BBQ from you and wanted to give you credit." Harry Soo, SlapYoDaddyBBQ.com

"The Alton Brown of Que." Joe Mizrahi, Smokin' Joe's, NYC

"I have always loved to travel and eat. Life became boring when I had to give up my worldly adventures. Thanks to you I now love to cook. I am now having adventures at home in my kitchen and my back yard. I am no longer bored, and my large family is grateful too. Thank you so much." Dugan Hoeflinger, Tucson, AZ

"I am in the process of opening a cafe and thought your simple sweet sour slaw is an amazing winner." James Murray, Toronto

"I had two ribs and my boyfriend ate the other 3 1/2 pounds. He couldn't stop to talk. He had to bring a box of tissues to the table because these ribs are so good they make him weep. He tells me that my ribs have deepened his love for me. Well, fine, but I know that just means he wants more ribs." Nancy J. Mostad, Minnesota


Placeholder

Related articles

Placeholder

Placeholder

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazonhttps://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

...some HTML for the first variant...

Placeholder

Placeholder

Get Smoke Signals, our free e-letter. No spam. Guaranteed

Enter your email:

Placeholder

Lookit what our members are cooking:


Post comments and questions below

Placeholder

1) Please try the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

 

Click to ask questions and make comments