Pickled ramp sour cream is one of the most hard-working garnishes I’ve ever served. I remember tables regularly ordering multiples, or repeat sides of the roasted beet dish I used to serve with them that I’ll share with you, too.
It’s no secret everybody loves picking ramps, and, of those that harvest their own, plenty of them also like making pickled ramps. But, rarely do you hear about what people actually do with said pickled ramps. Newsflash: you can actually cook with them, and they’re amazing. It’s counter-intuitive though, and I get it.
I mean, compare pickled ramps and cukes. Cucumber pickles are usually put on a bun and eaten with a sandwich, on the side or something similar (although Russian dressing is a good counter-example). Same thing with pickled peppers onions, etc. Pickled ramps though, are not something I’m just going to toss on a sandwich whole, put on a charcuterie plate, or eat out of the jar. To me pickled ramps are a seasoning, and their alliaceousness is best spread out a bit, just like when they’re fresh. I mean, ok, maybe throw one in a gimlet, sure, but it’s a novelty.
But, take those same pickled ramps, cook their liquid down until the flavors concentrate, them mix it into some sour cream with fresh herbs, and you’ve just made a ridiculously good garnish for all kinds of things, my top three being fried fish, roasted beets, and crispy potatoes.
It’s a great all purpose condiment, and you’ll be surprised on what it doesn’t taste good on, more that what it does. Even better, is that the pickle liquid and ramps are essentially a preservative, so if you whip up a banch of rampy sour and store it in your refrigerator, and, for some reason lasts for more than a few days, you’re not going to have to worry about it turning or sporting mold, not for a long while, at least.
Pickled Ramp Sour Cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup pickled ramps chopped
- 1/4 cup pickled ramp liquid
- 1 tsp tarragon or dill chopped
Roasted Beets with Pickled Ramp Sour Cream
- 1/2 cup pickled ramp sour cream See recipe
- 1 lb mixed beets such as red, gold, chioggia, or white
- Kosher salt and pepper as needed
- Water if needed to thin the sauce
- Place the beets in a deep roasting pan, add water so that about 1/4 of the beets are submerged. Double wrap the pan in aluminum foil, making sure no foil touches the beets. Roast the beets at 375 for an hour or so depending on size, or until tender when pierced.
- When the beets are tender, cover them in ice water, this will shock their skin and make it easier to peel.
- Peel the beets and cut them into similarly sized shapes.
- Heat a saute pan with a couple tablespoons of water, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the beets until they are warm throughout, then add the pickled ramp sour cream to taste, toss to coat, and add a little water if necessary to make a creamy sauce. If you like the beets extra creamy, add some more sour cream. Double check the seasoning, adjust as needed and serve immediately.