RAMPING IT UP: Spotted this post on Genevieve Reiner's blog, Ham Sandwich Indicted and decided to share her creative way of preserving ramps...
|PHOTO: Genevieve Reiner|
To confit something is to cook an ingredient in fat, then store it in that same fat. Most typically, meats are confited--duck or goose confit is fairly common, and while it sounds fancy, it's essentially duck pieces slowly cooked in rendered duck fat then submerged and stored in the cooking fat. It is an ancient means of preservation, as the fat keeps out air and bacteria, and was used (back in the day) to store food without refrigeration. Vegetables can also be preserved via confit, and there are recipes out there using mushrooms, onions and garlic. With ramps being part of the same family as onions and garlic, it made sense to give it a go and try to hang on to ramp season a little while longer.
I haven't cracked them open yet, but I'd imagine that after a week in their olive oil bath, the ramps will be delicious spread on a crusty piece of bread or served with a piece of grilled meat.
Confit de Ramps
1/2 to 1 lb of ramps, cleaned, roots removed and bulbs removed from the green leaves (save the leaves for another use...chopped up and folded into butter is a good one)
Salt and pepper
In a small saucepan, combine the ramp bulbs and a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Cover the ramps with olive oil and place on on a burner at it's lowest possible setting. Allow the ramps to barely simmer until they're soft, about 20 minutes. Strain the ramps out into a glass jar and then top with the cooking oil. Seal and keep in the refigerator until ready to eat. They should keep for a couple of weeks at least. Save the rest of the ramp infused oil to use in a vinaigrette, fry eggs, or as a dipping sauce for breads. It would also be delicious drizzled over roasted veggies or as a finish on a pizza...