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How to Make Ramp Salt 

It’s spring and all throughout the woods, Allium tricoccum, also known as ramps are growing in bountiful swathes of green. Their leaves are deliciously oniony/garlicky and are all around one of my favorite things to forage in the springtime. Ramps are one of the first plants that are truly forgeable this time of year, at least around me, so it always feels like a very big deal to go out and gather the first harvest of the season. It’s like a breath of fresh air coming off the long winter, to be able to finally eat something fresh and so full of springlike flavor. 

The one downfall of ramps is that they don’t have a crazy long growing season. That’s where preservation comes in! By making Ramp salt, you can capture the ramp’s beautiful flavor and use it all year long. 

a basket of ramps on a woodland floor surrounded by ramps

How to Identify Ramps

Ramps, sometimes called wild garlic, are easily identifiable by a few different characteristics. It’s important to note that ramps (Allium tricoccum) and wild garlic (Allium ursinum) are not actually the same, but they are both edible. Ramps are the North American variety or wild onion, while wild garlic is the European and Asian variety. They mostly grow in woodlands on the eastern half of the United States in early to late spring. There are two ways that I like to identify them and it’s by their smell and appearance. 

  • Smell

The smell of ramps alone are a giveaway when foraging. They smell bright and oniony and oh so delicious. This is key to identifying them, because there are a few other plants that look like ramps, like Lily of the Valley that don’t smell like onions. Generally, if it smells like onions you can eat it (obviously do your research and always identify whatever you find before you eat it!) 

  • Appearance 

Ramps have long almost oval shaped leaves with a point at the end. They send up two leaves per plant that are a bright green with a beautifully pink/red stem towards the base. They can grow alone or in large patches together. To be super sure you’ve found ramps, dig a single ramp up and inspect the bulb. The bulb should look slightly bigger than the base of a green onion and is slightly rounded.

Foraging Responsibly 

It can take between 7-10 years for a ramp to reach maturity, so it is very important to forage them responsibly. It is very easy to be overzealous and pick a bunch of ramps without having a full idea of what you may use them for. I have made the mistake in the past of picking large bunches and then only using a few here and there. It’s a shame to let them go to waste. 

So, First things first, plan how you’re going to use them and how much you may need. For example, the ramp salt we’re going to be making below, calls for a small bunch of ramps, which is around 8-10 leaves. If you’ll be doubling, make note of that.  

Second, Just take the leaves. The onion bulb is good, but the leaves are what’s special. By leaving the bulb, you’re allowing it to keep growing and producing year after year. It is also ideal to take only one leaf from each plant. This allows the other leaf to continue to photosynthesise and keep feeding the bulb!

ramp salt and ramp leaves on a cutting board

Ways to Preserve Ramps 

There are a few ways you can preserve ramps. One way is to blanch and freeze them, which simply means dipping the leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, transferring to ice water, then squeezing out the excess water and freezing in a ziploc bag for future use. This is the same method you’d use to store spinach. 

Another way and my favorite way you can preserve ramps, is by making ramp salt! Salt has been used for thousands of years to preserve food and by making ramp salt, you’ll be able to infuse your food with that gorgeous ramp flavor all year round. It’s basically extra fancy garlic salt!

How to Make Ramp Salt 

Step 1 – Forage your Ramps

Follow our little guide above to get your hands on a small bunch of ramps for this recipe!

Step 2 – Wash and Dry Your Ramps

Because these plants come out of woodlands, it’s best to give them a nice rinse and dry before using them. It is also a great time to make sure there aren’t any plant hitchhikers in your ramps that may not be edible. 

Step 3 – Chop Your Ramps

Now that your ramps are washed and dried. Cut them into fine ribbons. This will make it easier to massage into the salt later. Don’t bother cutting one leaf at a time though, just roll them up together and cut them all at the same time. We won’t be using the purple stems in this salt, but don’t throw them away, save them to throw into a roast, broth, or stir fry. 

ramp salt in hand

Step 4 – Combine and Massage 

In a medium sized bowl, add one ½ cup kosher salt and chopped ramps together. Now massage them together until the ramps break down and there are only tiny pieces remaining. Your salt should take on a bright green hue. We recommend you use Morton kosher over other kosher salts like diamond crystal, as the coarser flakes will help the ramps break down. That being said, any kosher salt will work! *If you plan on gifting this ramp salt to a friend, or simply don’t like the idea of using your bare hands, feel free to use gloves during this step. 

Step 4 – Dry Out Your Salt

Turn your oven to 200 degrees F. You can go even lower if your oven allows, it may just take slightly longer to dry. But low and slow is the game here, because you want to preserve that gorgeous green hue! Next, spread your ramp salt on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop it in your oven. Check on your salt every once in a while to break up clumps as it dries. It should only take about an hour at 200 degrees and have a nice green hue, but like I said earlier, go lower and slower if you wanna be safe!

Step 5 – Enjoy

After about an hour, your ramp salt will be done! It’s as easy as that. I love to break it all up and add it to a pretty jar for future use. It also makes a wonderful gift! Sprinkle on veggies, meat, or anything your heart desires. It would probably make a delicious rim for a bloody mary too! Enjoy.

Ramp Salt

Ramp Salt

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This ramp salt is like garlic salt but way cooler. Sprinkle it on anything from veggies, meats, to the rim of a bloody mary glass!


  • 7-10 Ramp Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Kosher Salt (like Morton)


  1. Turn your oven on to as low as it will go, or 200 degrees F.
  2. Rinse, dry, and chop your ramp leaves.
  3. Add your ramp leaves to a bowl along with your kosher salt.
  4. Massage the leaves into the salt until the ramps have fully broken down into the salt.
  5. Spread your salt in a thin layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and dry in your oven for 1 hour or until the salt is fully dry. While it dries, break up the pieces of salt so that is can dry evenly
  6. Once it is dry, break up the salt chunks fully and store in a glass jar. Enjoy!


You want to salt to stay super green, so the lower and slower you go, the better.

 Please use your own discretion when foraging and consuming plants you have found. It is at your own risk.

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