Campfire Cooking: Maple Glazed Ramps
So, first off, let me say that you do not need to use ramps for this recipe. You could use onions or shallots to get a similar golden, sweet lusciousness as the ramps – though if you can get your hands on some I definitely recommend it!
One of the guys I work with is a serious forager, and he is always bringing me little goodies. A few weeks ago I got some wild ginger, which is much sweeter than most of the stuff I buy in the store, and then last week I got a beautiful jar full of wild ramps! I was so excited! I have never even seen ramps at any of my local grocery stores, and I’ve heard epic tales of how it makes any dish better, so I was more than excited to give them a try.
Lo and behold, they were every bit as delicious and flavor-enhancing as I’d imagined. I put them basically into everything I made last week, and it could have been the placebo effect, but I thought even my normal go-to dishes tasted that much better with the addition of the ramps.
These are very seasonal, but the method I used here could be replicated with just about any root vegetable or anything out of the onion family with great results. This is a surefire way to elevate your campground cooking – your friends and family will be seriously impressed – not that it takes much when they are used to eating half-burnt veggies out of tin foil 🙂
The maple syrup really brings out the sweetness in the ramps and gives them a nice caramel coating. The ramps soften up just enough to give them a smooth and velvety mouthfeel that simply makes your mouth water even more than the initial sweet smell coming from the skillet. I used a cast iron skillet, and that’s what I generally recommend for any campfire cooking adventure.
You can cook these low and slow over hot coals or a low flame, but I definitely wouldn’t put them directly over a large flame or on a portion of the fire that’s excruciatingly hot (if you can’t hold your hand above the fire for more than 10 seconds it’s too hot). Just like with caramelizing onions, you don’t want to cook them too fast, or you’ll end up with a crunchy inside and burned exterior – but if you’re into that sort of thing, more power to you.
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 handful Ramps (with greens cut off) - about 1 cup
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 2-Finger pinch of Salt
- In a cast iron skillet or dutch oven, melt the coconut oil over a medium heat - away from open flame.
- Trim the ends off of the ramps and clean them as needed. Add them to the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes, just enough to brown a bit on all sides.
- Pull the skillet off of the heat and mix in the maple syrup, garlic, and salt. Move the skillet over a low heat and allow the maple syrup to bubble. Cook, untouched, for 5 minutes. Stir and leave for another 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
I’m thinking of compiling all of my campfire cooking recipes into an ebook with some new ones as well – is that something you’d all be interested in?