A rich ramp butter made from the leaves of the plant is one of the best ways to preserve ramps during the growing season. This is a classic recipe for foragers and many people make it every year. Read on and I'll explain the finer parts and how to make your own delicious ramp butter at home.
What is Ramp Butter ?
Ramp butter is a compound butter made from the leaves of ramps or other wild garlic plants that grow in the early Spring. A compound butter just means that the butter has been mixed with seasonings.
With ramp butter, the butter is pureed in a food processor with the ramp leaves, turning it bright green. It tastes like garlicky butter with a woodsy aroma. Warmed up it has notes of parmesan cheese and a special flavor you only get from using ramps.
Besides regular ramps (Allium tricocoum) you can also use bear garlic (Allium ursinum) three cornered leeks (Allium triquetrum) and the small ramp (Allium burdickii). Wild garlic and crow garlic (Allium vinneale) also work, as well as the greens of wild onions. Some people also sell ramp butter at farmers markets in the Spring during ramp season.
How to Make Ramp Butter
It's easy to make. First you'll blanch ramp leaves and cool them. The blanched leaves are finely chopped and mixed with fresh ones. Finally everything is pureed in a food processor with softened butter. The images below describe the process.
While some recipes use the whole plant, adding lots of chopped ramp bulbs is unnecessary and can make the flavor too strong.
Once all the butter is added the butter will be bright green and vibrant.
Forming the butter
After the butter is pureed, it's formed into a log using cling film or parchment.
How I use it
I use ramp butter on all kinds of things. Here's a few examples of ways I use it.
- Put some under the skin of roast chicken.
- Use it to top a mashed or baked potato.
- Warm it up and drizzle on any and all seafood.
- Spread it on toast and make garlic cheese bread.
- Toss it with hot pasta, cheese, and your favorite wilted greens.
There's a few other ideas on my site linked below.
Related Posts on Ramps
Classic Wild Ramp Butter Made with Leaves
- Food processor
- Parchment or Cling Film
- 3 oz (Roughly 3 cups) lightly packed ramp leaves Use a scale for the best tasting result.
- 8 oz 2 sticks salted butter softened
- ½ tablespoon cold water
- A few cracks of the peppermill
- ½ Tablespoon chilled lemon juice or water plus a few scrapes of lemon zest, optional
- Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces and bring to room temperature.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch half of the ramp leaves for a few seconds, just until they wilt, then refresh in cold water. Alternately, for a stronger flavor, steam the ramp leaves for a few seconds until just wilted.
- Squeeze the leaves dry, then chop roughly on a cutting board with the fresh ramp leaves.
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse the ramp leaf mash to smooth it out a bit, then gradually add the butter pieces 1 chunk at a time, along with the water, processing to make a smooth paste (it may take some time if your butter is cold-just be patient) continuing to process until the butter is light green and fluffy-make sure to watch the video as this is easier seen than explained.
- If the butter, or ambient temperature of the kitchen is very cold, add a spoonful or two of boiling water to help the mixture move in the food processor.
- Once the butter is emulsified, fluffy and brilliant green, add the pepper, and drizzle in the lemon juice, processing for a few seconds to lighten it.
- Double check the seasoning, adjust as needed (if you want it stronger you can spin in some extra chopped ramp leaves).
- Spread the butter onto a piece of parchment, roll into a log, tie the ends closed and refrigerate. From here you can cut the butter into portions and freeze.
- The butter will keep for a week or two in the fridge, and a couple months in the freezer. I prefer to vacuum seal it for the best long-term storage.