"Oooh, what's that?" I asked as I finally arrived, tossing off bags and sunglasses and waving the waitress over to put in my own drink order.
It was a martini. Served cold and garnished with pickled ramps instead of the usual olives.
"I've been all about the pickled ramps lately!" I exclaimed.
This year was the first time I pickled them, and I chose an easy recipe by Puerto Rican chef José Enrique, who prepares them escabeche style.
Escabeche is a simple olive oil and vinegar pickling sauce that's served a lot in Puerto Rico (and much of the Caribbean). It's common with fish, plantains, and now...ramps!
Make a big batch to keep in a jar in the fridge. You can add them to your salads, as a garnish on top of grilled meat or, yes, in an ice-cold martini!
Like this recipe? Try my Easy Soy Sauce Vegetable Pickles or these Quick Pickled Red Onions!
Puerto Rican Style Pickled Ramps
Adapted from a recipe by Jose Enrique, Saveur
1 pound ramps, rinsed and patted dry, root ends trimmed
1/2 cup olive oil + more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 whole bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat (cast-iron works perfectly). Drizzle with olive oil and arrange the ramps on the skillet, cooking a few minutes on each side until charred. Sprinkle with kosher salt, then transfer to a glass jar or bowl.
In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the hot vinegar sauce over the ramps. Cover and let cool completely before serving or refrigerating.