Here’s a quick and easy recipe that literally goes on everything. From beef to chicken to shrimp and fish this charred Ramp Aioli is the ultimate condiment for any foodie.
Did you say fresh ramps??? I’m on my way!!!!
When you get a call from your local forager and he says he’s got some of the best wild ramps he’s ever seen you drop what you’re doing and go meet him at a park and ride off the highway like a culinary drug deal. I got that call at about 4:30pm Easter Sunday. I had just finished cleaning up from an early dinner and was about to unwind with some mindless television. That’s when the phone rang and I heard those words that all chefs long to hear…I’ve got ramps!!
But WTF is a Ramp???
Ramps also known as wild leeks grow in wooded areas and have a very short harvest season. Prized for their sharp bright fresh flavor the best comparison I can provide is a cross between fresh garlic and a scallion.
The bulbs can be pickled roasted or sautéed and the leaves can be used in salads or to make an unbelievably pesto. Sadly once picked you really only have 3-4 days to use them up. Since I had quite a harvest I planned out a few recipes so no ramps would go to waste. I even shared a couple pounds with the talented culinary mind behind the blog The Castaway Kitchen, please check out her blog if you haven’t, it’s packed with fantastic, Keto, paleo, AIP and whole 30 recipes as well as her book Made Whole.
Anyway after fighting DC traffic I got home and needed to get a quick dinner on the table. I had some chicken breasts that I needed to cook off so I threw together a simple marinade using: smoked paprika, cumin, onion & garlic powder along with real salt and olive oil. I fired up the Weber kettle to grill the chicken off and I was struck with a delicious Epiphany…charred Ramp Aioli.
Chicken Breasts Are Boring
Let’s be honest chicken breast on its own can be pretty boring even if it’s cooked perfectly so it needs a sauce to make it just a bit more interesting. I grabbed about 12 ramps and rinsed them thoroughly in cold water and peeled off any wilted outer membrane around the bulb then cut the very tip of the bulbs off. Next I just threw them over direct heat on the grill for about 5 minutes until the leaves had wilted and the stems were charred up. After that I just rough chopped them with a knife before adding them to my food processor along with some grain mustard,mayo and a few other ingredients. Once it was blended and smooth I tasted it for seasoning and decided a squeeze of fresh lemon was in order.
I put that S**t on everything
This charred ramp Aioli will last about 10 days in the fridge and can be used for just about anything from a tangy salad dressing to a dip for crudités but I think it really shines when served with grilled meat and fish. Even though I just used it as a dip for grilled chicken, a few nights later I poached some beautiful gulf shrimp and they were so delicious I have no photographic evidence so you’ll just have to trust me.
You don’t have your own personal forager??? It’s all good. I’ve got you covered.
I’m well aware that you may not have access to fresh ramps or they’re just not in season. If you’ve checked the local farmers markets and local produce stands and come up empty you can alway substitute scallions or leeks along with a few cloves of roasted garlic instead of ramps.
Charred Ramp Aioli
- After cleaning the ramps remove the very tip of the bulb then char ramps over direct heat on your grill. Once Ramp leaves have wilted and bulbs are lightly charred remove and rough chop with a knife before adding to a food processor along with Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and avocado oil.
- Pulse the mix until you have a minced paste. Then add mayonnaise and pulse until smooth. Taste and add salt, pepper and hot sauce as desired.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving, store in sealed glass jar for up to 10 days.