This was my first year foraging for ramps, and I have to admit that I’m hooked. The sheer number of tasty amazing things that can be done with them boggles the mind. My favorites so far, apart from this, are ramp grilled cheese and a ramp pesto with pasta and fiddleheads.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Ramps are little wild leeks that grow in damp shady places in the spring, and have a smell and flavor somewhere between leeks and garlic. While they can be found on your own, folks often are somewhat loathe to share their foraging spots. Fortunately for me, a couple of neighbors were good enough to point me in the right direction. We trudged out into the woods with tall boots, buckets, and shovels. I gathered up a bunch of the little things, and headed for home.
This butter is wonderful. It helps preserve that wonderful pungent essence of springtime throughout the year, provided you freeze it well. The better the butter you start with, the more amazing this becomes. Enjoy it on anything savory for which you would normally employ butter. Personally, I think it’s incredible on warm biscuits, fresh from the oven.
Those skinny little ramps in the photo were all I had left for staging. Too small for eating, I’ve planted them in shady parts of the yard. With any luck, I’ll have my own ramp patch in a few years…
Ramp Compound Butter Recipe
- 1 handful ramps
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- pinch of sea salt, if using unsalted butter
Clean your ramps, if wild foraged, by washing the dirt from them and peeling away any slimy outer skins, leaving the white shoots. Cut off the very bottom of the ramp, where the little roots stick out. Place your ramps in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them- this helps keep that nice green color. Let sit for about 20 seconds, then remove and pat dry.
Slice the ramps: I usually cut the green parts in slightly larger strips to give the butter some visual interest, but mince the white parts. You can eyeball the proportions. Add the prepared ramps in with the butter and salt, and mix until combined.
Divide the butter into several parts, roll in parchment paper, and place in a freezer bag. Slice off a small part at a time, and enjoy!