Bite Of Minnesota: Ramp Salt
Last week I talked about a few dishes using ramps that I’ve made over the years. The mild garlic and onion flavor of ramps help boost the flavor profile and make them an easy addition to most recipes. I’m sad when the season ends so I’ve been looking for ways to prolong their life in the form of butters, salts, and seasonings.
A few years ago I tried making ramp butter. It was my first time making a compound butter and I made way too much, even after quartering the original recipe. After spreading on bread, making white sauce for pizza, and melting over popcorn, I tired of ramp butter and still had half a pound in my freezer. Unless you use a lot of butter and specifically want ramp butter for the next few months, I’d recommend making only a portion of this Serious Eats recipe or plan to give a lot away.
Another fun use for ramps is to make ramp salt. It’s pretty easy, but you’ll need some patience to wait for the ramps to dry. It helps to have a dehydrator or if your oven can stay low at 175 degrees, that will work too. Since my oven runs hot, I went with the longer route. For the salt, I’m a fan of Maldon Sea Salt flakes because I love the shape of the big flakes and it’s great to use as a finishing salt over the top of a dish. They also sell a smoked salt version that would be a great variation for ramp salt.
1 bunch of ramps, cleaned
1/2 to 1 cup of Maldon Sea Salt flakes (or kosher salt)
Trim root strings from ramps and discard. Chop the white and green parts into tiny pieces. Sprinkle over parchment paper on a large jelly roll pan. Set pan in a dry place for several days or until ramps feel dry and brittle. When ready, crush ramps with your fingers and add salt to desired ratio. The salt volume will vary due to amount of ramp pieces you have. Store in small jars for easy usage or add a ribbon to give away as a gift.