Here’s a pretty clever thing you ramp harvesters can do when you’re wanting to prolong the magic of the season, so to speak. I have a culinary bone that needs constant feeding, and when I grill or smoke, I have an assortment of rubs that I tend to have ready-made. I’ve ground the dehydrated tomato skins left over from my sauces to make a tangy tomato powder base for other rubs. I’ve also dehydrated halved garlic cloves to make my own powder. Well, it just seemed downright necessary to make a ramp-based salt or rub with all these ramp leaves. It’s easy.
Clean your leaves and lay them out to dry. I put my leaves in a dehydrator… and they readily dehydrate. It only took a couple of hours with a little heat added. You can also cold-smoke the leaves initially if you want to add a bit of natural smoke but you’ll see how I faked it with the smoked salt in a moment. You’ll eventually add some kind of salt, and I’d suggest either a kosher or sea salt… basically, something with a course grind.
I have a stash of applewood smoked sea salt that I used to blend in. This particular salt is almost overly smoky so I thought skipping the cold-smoking was prudent this time around. I took the dehydrated leaves, crunched them up and stuff them in my spice grinder along with a certain amount of salt. I like to grind the salt with the dehydrated leaves to help integration, and by the time it’s done, you really can’t see the salt. It leaves a nice, earthy, salt blend, ready to sprinkle right on food… use as a rub, or used in the other curing applications. Later on, I did manage to add in some of my homemade garlic powder. I can’t wait to get this into some charcuterie.
If you have any other clever ideas on making salts and rubs, I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, here’s a few pics of the process.