Ramp Butter

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Our neighbor knocked on our kitchen door a few days ago and gifted us with this batch of freshly dug ramps! What a treat! I thought it was too early to find them but obviously I was wrong. I took a walk in our woods a few days ago but I wasn’t thinking about ramps – guess I should have been! Ramps, Allium trioccum, is also called wild leek. Euell Gibbons, wild food enthusiast extraordinaire, wrote in his book Stalking The Wild Asparagus, “We consider wild leek bulbs the sweetest and best of the wild onions. They have a mild onion flavor with a hint of garlic, which I find delicious”. He knew what he was talking about! If you can’t forage for Ramps you might find them at your local farmer’s market – grab them while you can because their season is short.

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To clean Ramps, cut off the root end and peel off the outer fibrous skin that surrounds the bulb. Wash the ramps in cold running water and trim the top of the leaves but keep the bulk of the leaves intact. To store the ramps, I wrap them in paper towels and stuff the whole package into a heavy wax paper bag.

I wanted a way to make my small batch of ramps stretch as far as possible. Hmmmm? Compound butter is easy, quick to make, and stores well in the freezer. Ramp butter it is. I started with:

2 pounds of butter, room temperature
8 ounces of cleaned ramps
1 lemon for juice and zest
Salt and pepper

I brought a pot of salted water to a boil. Dropped in the ramps and left them there about 1 minute or less. I scooped them out and dropped them into ice water to stop the cooking then drained them. I put the drained ramps onto a heavy towel and rolled them up to remove as much water as I could. Next I put the ramps onto a cutting board and sliced them thinly. They smell heavenly!ramp butter 1

The room temperature butter, juice and zest of one lemon, sliced ramps and salt and pepper to taste – I just sprinkled in “enough” – go into a mixer bowl.

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I used the paddle attachment to beat the mixture until it was smooth and creamy and blended well. Ooohh!! It’s beautiful!

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I decided to make four 1/2 pound rolls to store in the freezer. I dug out four heavy duty wax paper bags that used to line cereal and cracker boxes. I repurpose these bags to store garden produce – carrots, beets, greens, etc. I thought that they just might work to shape and roll the butter. I cut off the bottom of each bag and pulled open the center seam to make a good sized flat sheet.

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I put a sheet of the waxed paper onto my scale and weighed out about 8 ounces of the Ramp Butter. I put the sheet and butter onto the counter and used a small metal spatula to shape a narrow rectangle.

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Then I carefully tucked the edge of the paper around and under the butter and shaped it into a roll. I continued to roll the paper and continuously shape the roll until I came to the end of the paper. I twisted the ends of the paper tightly and TaDa! I actually ended up with 5 rolls. I kept thinking that I would end up with 4 rolls from 2 pounds of butter each 1/2 pound but – duh! – I forgot about the added ramps.

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I tucked the butter rolls into a heavy food storage bag, labeled it , and stashed it into the freezer. Next step, finding recipes for using my Ramp Butter. Maybe chicken? How would you use Ramp Butter?

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Hey from the farm,
Fran, The Kitchen Cousin

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