Grand Funk: On Ramps
Ramps are all the rage, and have been for quite a few years now. The result, not at all surprisingly, is over-harvesting, scarcity and decimation. The Outside Institute advocates sustainable foraging only, and this means being aware and educated before you walk into the forest with desire in your heart. Please read this article from 2011, which is more relevant than ever. Dig up bulbs sparingly, if at all, and never pick more than one mature leaf from any plant.
The good news is that ramp leaves are arguably more delicious and versatile than the bulbs. Stir-fried with good olive oil in a hot cast-iron skillet, their garlicky intensity mellows and they become silky. Dried and ground with sea salt, they make an astoundingly good condiment that holds their funky flavor for up to a year. It's so good on popcorn (with nutritional yeast and cayenne), on scrambled eggs, on buttered toast...and on everything else.
Makes about 2/3 cup
A dozen large ramp leaves
Scant 1/3 cup sea salt
Fully dehydrate ramp leaves, using either a dehydrator or your oven on its lowest setting (170 degrees F or lower).
Pulverize dried leaves in batches in a spice/coffee grinder. Measure and set aside. Measure out an equal quantity of sea salt. Pulse the two together in the grinder until well combined. Store in a glass jar or other airtight container.