Monday, February 1, 2010

Ramps Recipe - Caramelized Wild Leek and Garlic Jam

Commercial product vs. My version
There is a product made by Stonewall Kitchens that we have adored for years--Roasted Garlic Onion Jam. Just slightly sweet, and wonderfully savory, it tastes superb on some fresh bread with a wedge of brie, or on a roast beef sandwich with dijon. I have made mini roast beef sandwiches as appetizers, and they were a big hit. The only drawback is the price--nearly eight dollars for a 13 oz. jar.

We wondered if we could make some, since we started doing jellies of our own. I tried to search many sites online for a good recipe, but somehow, onions, garlic, vinegar and sugar did not sound like I would make what we wanted. The flavor is complex, spicy, with just a touch of vinegar. We finally found one recipe to try, and the results are very, very good. Next time we may use less basalmic and add some apple cider vinegar, and try to get more caramelization on the ramps and garlic. It is also supposed to be tasty on game meats, making them less "gamey".

We dig the ramps in late September, pulling up the fat bulbs by looking for the dead flower and seed stalks on the forest floor. They are washed well, and sliced like leeks before being cooked with some regular sweet onions.

Caramelized Wild Leek and Garlic Jam

makes about 8 one cup jars

4 whole heads garlic
1 tsp olive oil
4 c. chopped ramps
2 c. chopped sweet onions
2 oz. butter
3/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. basalmic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard seed
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
6 c. sugar
1 (3 oz.) package liquid pectin

1. Without separating the cloves, chop off the tops of the garlic heads. Wrap them in foil, drizzle with the olive oil, and roast at 425° for 35 minutes, until browned. Cool.

2. In a large heavy bottomed pot, sautée the ramps and onions in butter until soft and lightly browned.

3. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the pot with the ramps, and add vinegars, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, ginger, and cloves.

4. Bring to a rolling boil, and add the sugar. Return to a rolling boil, and cook 3 minutes stirring constantly.

5. Add the pectin and boil 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.

6. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 3 minutes. Skim the foam off the top. Pour into hot, sterilized jars, and seal. Process is water bath for 10 minutes.