Ramps Recipe: Fermenting Stretches the Season

Enjoy this Native Foliage for Months to Come

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Fresh ramps with roots for farmer market Adobe Stock By Paul Pellegrino

A fermented ramps recipe can extend the ramp season so these fleeting delights can be enjoyed for months to come. If you’re not familiar with ramps, they taste like a cross between scallions and garlic. They can be eaten raw or cooked. All parts of the ramp can be eaten, even the leafy green end.

Native to the northern forests of America, ramps are typically found after the snow melts. They die off once the foliage in the forests grows so dense that the ramps no longer get sufficient sunlight. Therefore, ramps are only available in the early spring; by mid-May they become more difficult to find.

Also Read: Learn to Grow Ramps, a Rare, Wild Delicacy

I’ve never foraged for wild ramps myself; I purchase them from the co-op. Little bundles of ramps comes with a high price tag, therefore this ramp recipe will yield a small batch to be savored.

This fermented ramp recipe is simple and straightforward. It is flavor packed and makes a great condiment to top chili, hot dogs, brats, eggs, or enjoy them stirred into salads, pastas, or any dish where you want a pop of garlicky onion flavor.

Freshly harvested wild ramps on a cutting board.
Fresh wild ramps

Fermented Wild Ramp Recipe

Yield: 1 cup fermented ramps

Subscribe now


3 bundles of ramps – ¾ cup prepped (sliced)
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 clove garlic, crushed

Brine: 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt, dissolved in 1/2 cup of water.


The first step is to thoroughly clean the ramps. Ramps are notoriously pretty dirty, coming from the forest and all. I submerge them in a large pot of cold water and allow them to soak for a while, then I use my hand to agitate them, to encourage the dirt to fall off.

Use a paper towel to dry off the ramps and rub off any additional dirt or thin skin that is beginning to slough off.

Trim off the root ends and peel away the outer layer of the ramp. Trim off the leaf. Reserve the leaves to cook separately. Once you have your ramps cleaned and trimmed, give them another rinse off.

Cut the ramps into ¼” slices until you have ¾ cup.

In a clean 8-ounce canning jar, add the remainer of the ingredients. Tuck the bay leaf on the side of the jar so that it does not get crushed. Add in the sliced ramps.

Stir up the brine and pour it over the ramps until everything is completely submerged. Leave at least a half an inch of headspace from the brine to the rim of the jar. Add in a small jar weight if you have one, to help keep the floating pieces submerged. See notes section about jar weights.

Use a dampened paper towel to wipe off the rim of the jar, apply the canning lid and tightly screw on the jar ring.


This ramp recipe is a 5-day ferment. Ferment at room temperature, ideally between 60-75°F and keep out of direct sunlight. Check on the ferment daily to make sure the brine remains over the produce. This is a crucial step in all vegetable fermentation, as any produce above the brine is prone to mold and these little ramp pieces tend to float up.

If the produce is above the brine, use a clean utensil to push the produce back down below the brine. Burp the jar daily – unscrew the lid briefly and tighten it back on to allow any built-up gas to release (and avoid jar breakage).

After 5 days, taste test the ramps to see how the flavor is coming along. The ramps should have melded flavors with the other ingredients and have a sour, tangy taste. You can expect that the brine will have a pinkish hue. Transfer to the refrigerator once fermented to your liking, with the brine and all.

The fermented ramps will last nearly indefinitely however the texture and flavor will continue to change. Fermentation does not stop once refrigerated, it just slows way down. This ferment is best enjoyed within 6 months.

Ramps Recipe: Side Notes

If you do not have a glass jar weight, you can improvise by using an easily removable small food-grade glass dish that fits inside the jar. Or, if you have a smaller glass canning jar that can fit into the mouth of the jar you are fermenting with, you can use that to keep the produce pushed under the brine.

If you are unsure if your water is safe for fermentation, you can boil it and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding in the salt to make your brine.

You may use fine sea salt instead of coarse kosher salt if you prefer but consult a salt conversion chart when doing so. For more fermented recipes, follow Stephanie on Instagram and check out her cookbooks on food preservation.

This ramps recipe was written for Hobby Farms online. Click here to subscribe to the print magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *