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Recipe: Ramp Kraut
It’s no secret that we are hardcore crushing on ramps: They’re an adventure to find, native to our neck of the woods (literally), and they knock you out with their pungent garlic and onion flavors.
But these wild leeks are heartbreakers too. Their season is super short, and their fevered popularity has led to some pretty frightening harvesting practices that puts this wild crop at risk. If you are harvesting them yourself, we recommend using a foraging knife to harvest the leaves from the stalk, leaving one leaf on each plant and the bulb and roots in the ground so it has a chance to spread more tasty ramps. Be sure to only forage what you're going to eat (we recommend <10% of a patch) and leave the rest behind. The thing about ramps is that they are much better at spreading by bulb division than by seed, so the more bulbs in the ground, the more ramps the next season.
If you are lucky enough to have a good patch on private land like us (or a trusted sustainable source at a farmer's market) you can mix a few bulbs in there too, but this recipe works just as well using ramp leaves only. The garlic-heavy aroma of ramps pairs beautifully with the bright, crunchy cabbage base, and make for a fun update to the tangy depth you love in a good kraut.
Fermenting ramps helps stretch their lifespan, so you can be sure that you make good use out of every single ramp you pick. And layering them in-between kraut means that you are getting two ferments in one: crazy delicious lacto-fermented ramps, plus a whole bunch of ramp-flavored kraut to make those few weeks of ramp season last longer.