Photo credit Stephanie Ganz

Make This Spicy Zhug Before Ramp Season Is Over

A seasonal twist on this beloved hot sauce.

Ramps, those hyper-seasonal spring alliums, are busting out all over, and there’s only a few weeks left in their fleeting season. Found in the wild in the U.S. and Eastern Canada for about two months out of the year, ramps are beloved by chefs and home cooks for their punch of onion-garlic flavor. Both the bulbs and the leaves work well in a variety of preparations, from pesto to pickles. 

For this approach, ramps lend their zippy goodness to zhug, a spicy Yemenite sauce traditionally made with green chilies, cilantro, parsley, and other spices. This springtime version is the perfect way to preserve ramps and can be frozen in small containers to thaw and use throughout the year whenever a ramp craving happens to strike. Equally at home on a grilled skirt steak, a pan of roasted vegetables, or swirled into a mound of hummus, you’ll have no problem finding uses for this fiery condiment. 

Notes:

  • Store zhug in an airtight container in the refrigerator, with a sheet of plastic wrap or a layer of olive oil on top to preserve the vivid green color. It will last in the fridge for about a week, or freeze in small containers and thaw in the refrigerator as needed.
  • If you can’t find ramps where you live, this recipe works with scallions as well. Or try a more traditional zhug recipe like this one from Chef Michael Solomonov.
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Spicy Ramp Zhug

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Make the most of ramp season!

  • Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 24 jalapeños, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 oz ramps, bulbs and leaves separated
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced (no more than ¼ cup juice)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Notes

  • Store zhug in an airtight container in the refrigerator, with a sheet of plastic wrap or a layer of olive oil on top to preserve the vivid green color. It will last in the fridge for about a week, or freeze in small containers and thaw in the refrigerator as needed.
  • If you can’t find ramps where you live, this recipe works with scallions as well. Or try a more traditional zhug recipe like this one from Chef Michael Solomonov.
  • Author: Stephanie Ganz
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Quick
  • Cuisine: Vegan

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