Ramps are one of the surest signs that spring has finally arrived. They pop up in farmer's markets for few weeks, and then they are gone. One way to make the season last a little bit longer is to pickle them. Once pickled they make a nice accompaniment to meat, can be used in salads, or just nibbled on like any other pickle. I'd love to say how long they last but I find they always get eaten too quickly to measure.
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 fresh bay leaves
3-4 cups ramp bulbs (the leaves can be used in pesto or as a substitution for onion in recipes)
Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, juniper, peppercorns, and bay leaves with 2 cups of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Add ramp bulbs and reduce to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes, remove from heat, and leave to cool in liquid. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.