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251 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11215
United States

(718)768-6868

Kos Kaffe is a small-batch specialty coffee microroaster and cafe serving handcrafted beverages and seasonal, homemade breakfast, lunch, pastries, and snacks. 

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Ramping up for Spring

Sarah huck

This year's ramps come to us from one of my favorite farms, Lucky Dog Organics in the Catskills. 

This year's ramps come to us from one of my favorite farms, Lucky Dog Organics in the Catskills. 

I love a good root vegetable as much as the next girl, but after a long winter of rutabagas, potatoes, and turnips, it's a relief spotting greenery at the farmer's market again. I especially love scooping up all those fleeting ingredients that will be gone in a few weeks' time--tightly coiled fiddleheads, pale stalks of green garlic, and everyone's favorite harbinger of spring, the ramp. 

At the cafe, I try to work these ingredients into the menu whenever and wherever I can, but I'm an especially big fan of the ramp's distinctly delicate allium-ness. Gentler than scallions or garlic, you can throw them into many things (you might not even realize I'm swapping ramp leaves into the frittata. I am!), but I like ramps best when I can see and taste them. Pickling ramps has become my spring ritual. I can give the ramps a center stage on which to shine, and keep the season going a little longer for all of you at the cafe. Win-win. 

This year, we're serving the ramps in our spring market salad, a celebration of the first market asparagus, crisp watercress, and tiny fingerling potatoes. But at home, I will eat them straight from the jar, or alongside a grilled cheese sandwich. They're basically made for charcuterie platters, if you've got a fancy something coming up. This is a solid, basic recipe, but you can experiment with different spices and seasonings if you like. Oh--and did I mention this takes 15 minutes, start to finish? Enjoy!

Kos Kaffe Pickled Ramps (Makes about 1 quart)

3 bunches ramps

1 3/4 cups white wine vinegar

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1/2 teaspoon mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon whole coriander

1 to 2 dried chilies, to taste

1 bay leaf

Trim the hairy bottoms from the ramps and discard; remove greens and save for another use (they're excellent for compound butters, pestos, stir-fry, and egg dishes). Place ramps in a clean, dry quart-sized canning jar. 

In a non-reactive, heavy saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring until sugar and salt is fully dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour brine over ramps. Cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the refrigerator. They'll be ready to eat in a day or so, and will keep for up to 3 weeks.