Serves 4 as a side dish. This could easily be topped with a slice of fish and some potatoes to make an entree.
Course: Appetizer, Salad
Keyword: Black Walnuts, nettles, Pickled Ramps
8ouncesfreshyoung nettles, less than 6 inches tall
1/2cupyoung ramp bulbssliced thin
2tbspblack walnut oil
2tbspflavorless oillike grapeseed or canola
2tbspapple cider vinegar
Salt-for the blanching water
Toast the black walnuts in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown, but not burnt. Cool the nuts. When the nuts are cool, remove the skins from them using your fingers or some other tool, like rubbing them in a towel. Removing the skin from the nuts takes some time, but it is worth it, you will be shocked at how less bitter nuts can be without their papery husks. Crush the nuts lightly and mix with the oils.
Season the sliced ramps with the salt, sugar, and vinegar. Set aside while you cook the nettles.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water to taste with salt. When the water boils add the nettles and cook for 2 minutes, or until all the nettles are completely wilted. Make sure not to under-blanch your nettles, I have stung my mouth before, it sucks.
Drain the nettles on a towel to absorb excess moisture. Arrange the nettles on a plate with all of the bottoms and tops facing the same direction. Spoon the ramps and their juice over the nettles. Finish the dish by drizzling on some of the black walnuts and the oil. Serve Immediately.