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Monday, June 17th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Monday, June 17th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Taste of the Wild: Make your own dried ramp powder seasoning

Several years ago, I was cutting firewood with my husband on our property in Wisconsin when I noticed several patches of bright green plants in the trees nearby. They happened to be wild ramps, one of the most highly coveted and sought-after forest edibles.

Sometimes referred to as wild leek, ramson, or spring onion, they appear around mid-April and range into May, depending on the winter thaw.

Besides the obvious toppings to salads and crafting ramp butter from this member of the onion family, being the kitchen-queen that I am, I thought, what better idea than to make these into a seasoning power I can utilize year-round?

This method of processing is simple and is something you can use as a seasoning on meats, salads, and other dishes.

Here is how you can prepare and make your own ramp powder for a kitchen seasoning.

TIPS FOR HARVESTING YOUR WILD RAMPS

To dig ramps, loosen the soil with your spoon or tool to dig, trying not to cut any neighboring roots, and use your knife to cut the ramp stems or below the root where you can get the full bulb. Though the bulbs are pretty tasty and thick, it’s recommended by several seasoned foragers I’ve spoken with to not take lots of bulbs so that they can grow for years to come.

Once you sever the roots, the ramps should pull out. Replace any dug-up soil so the remaining plants aren’t susceptible to cold or bugs, etc.

TOOLS

• Something to dig with (I used a large spoon) to get down as far as you can on the ramp bulbs.

• A sharp knife or scissors for cutting the stems out.

• A bowl or some means of carrying your ramps back to where you’ll prepare them.

• A dehydrator

DEHYDRATION INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Ramps have a silky membrane that covers the stems. You can find this just below the leaves and pull it down to the end of the stem. I found that using a dry paper towel helped this process move along nicely.

2. Once the membranes are peeled off, wash the ramps and get rid of any dirt between the leaves and stem, then cut any unwanted/dirty ends off. Layer on paper towels and dry for about 5 minutes.

3. When dry, cut the stems from the leaves. Stems can be thick on some plants, so I halved them down the middle of the stem to thin them out. When cutting the leaves, I cut them into 1-inch or so pieces.

4. Now you can place them on your dehydrator. I kept stems and leaves separate on the rack shelves in my dehydrator to allow for the variations in drying time due to the density.

5. I crank my dehydrator to 160 degrees for about 6 hours until the ramps are crispy dry. *Hot tip: Due to the strong, pungent smell that is created during the drying process of ramps, it is wise to put your dehydrator in a garage or anywhere besides your kitchen wherever you dehydrate, because that smell will linger!

6. When done, use a small blender (or clean coffee grinder, or a mortar and pestle) to finely chop and grind the ramps down into powder.

7. Before storing in a dry Ball Mason jar, add one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of ground black pepper into your mix and combine well.

8. Store out of direct sunlight.

9. Congratulations, you now have a wild new spice for your kitchen arsenal!

Recipe and photo by Sarah Kozlowski


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Sarah Kozlowski is from Hayward, Wis. She’s an avid outdoorswoman from northwest Wisconsin. You can follow her adventures @skozlowskiii on Instagram.

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Find more game and fish recipes at outdoornews.com/cooking

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