Pickled Ramps With A Kick Recipe

If you like foods bursting with tangy flavors, pickled vegetables are probably on your radar. Not only do they bring plenty of taste and crunch to the table, but they may also contain added benefits for gut health. Jarred pickles are pretty standard, but if you're looking to take your pickling game up a notch you'll want to try these pickled ramps with a kick, courtesy of Tasting Table recipe developer Molly Madigan Pisula.

If you aren't yet familiar with ramps, the vibrant spring vegetable is rapidly collecting more and more fans. As part of the allium family, expect flavors similar to onions, garlic, scallions, and leeks. The sharp taste is pleasantly balanced by umami notes, making ramps a very exciting ingredient for many purposes. Pisula shares, "I love that you can make a batch of these pickled ramps, and then use them over a few weeks to add flavor to all sorts of dishes (that is if you don't just nibble them out of the jar directly)." This pickled recipe is sure to satisfy your desire for something tart and crunchy.

Gather the ingredients for these pickled ramps with a kick

For this recipe, you'll need a couple of bunches of ramps and sliced habanero pepper, which Pisula raves, "makes for a deliciously spicy pickle!" The brine consists of rice vinegar, water, a bay leaf, sugar, kosher salt, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and whole cloves.

Pisula notes if you can't source habanero or are hesitant about the spice level, "replace [it] with jalapeño pepper slices or with a ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes." Of course, on the flip side, "You can also adjust the heat by adding more or fewer habanero slices," she points out. 

This recipe highlights classic brine flavors, but Pisula suggests mixing it up: "Try coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, or allspice berries." Meanwhile, if your vinegar stash doesn't include the rice variety, she notes that white wine, red wine, or apple cider vinegar can all be substituted. 

Start by prepping the ramps

To prep the ramps, first trim off the ends of the bulbs. Then, cut off the leaves and set them aside for another use. Pisula suggests making pesto, "Or just process them with a little bit of oil and salt to make a sauce that you can drizzle on anything from grilled chicken to scrambled eggs."

The bulbs will likely contain some dirt, so give them a good rinse and dry them off with a clean tea towel. Place the ramps upright in a clean 16-ounce jar and add the sliced habanero in too.

Combine the ingredients for the brine

In a small saucepan, add the rice vinegar, water, bay leaf, sugar, salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and cloves. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil as you stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. It should take about 3 minutes. Pour the brine into a measuring cup first to avoid making a mess when transferring it into the jar.

Add the brine to the jar

Now, pour the brine into the jar but make sure to keep a ½-inch of free space at the top. Some ramps will probably float up, so gently push them down to cover them in the liquid. Leave the jar open until it cools to room temperature.

Refrigerate before serving

Tightly twist the lid on to seal and pop the jar into the refrigerator. Pisula recommends waiting at least one week before opening it to give the ramps time to infuse with flavor. You'll want to consume the ramps within three weeks.

Go ahead and munch on these as a snack, or Pisula suggests using them "in a charcuterie spread/cheese plate." She adds, "I also love to chop them up and use them as a topping for tacos."

This jar of pickled ramps is the gift that keeps giving: "Don't dump the brine when you are done with the ramps — you can throw some sliced cucumbers or sliced red onions in there to make another quick pickle," Pisula says.

Pickled Ramps With A Kick Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
Learn how to make these pickled ramps with habanero that you can use to add a bit of tart crunch to your snack or meal.
Prep Time
Cook Time
jarred pickled ramps with spices
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 2 bunches (8 ounces) ramps
  • 4 slices habanero pepper
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  1. Trim the ends of the ramp bulbs and cut off the leaves. (Reserve the leaves for another use if desired.)
  2. Thoroughly rinse the bulbs, then dry them off with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Place the ramps and sliced habanero into a clean 16-ounce jar.
  4. Combine the rice vinegar, water, bay leaf, sugar, salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and cloves in a small saucepan
  5. Bring the contents to a low boil for about 3 minutes, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  6. Transfer the brine to a measuring cup.
  7. Pour the brine into the jar with the ramps, leaving a ½ inch at the top of the jar. Gently push down any floating ramps so that they are covered in liquid.
  8. Let the jar cool to room temperature.
  9. Seal with the lid and refrigerate for at least 1 week before serving.
Calories per Serving 103
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Total Sugars 16.6 g
Sodium 674.8 mg
Protein 2.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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