If you caught my previous blog, you probably saw that I’ve been busy in the woods searching for all kinds of fun things. 🙂 (It’s here, if you missed it.) My favorite find this year (with the help of my mom), is Ramps (aka: Wild Leeks). I hadn’t had them before, but now that I have–I will seek them out every year. Always. They are amazing. They have a garlic/onion smell and taste–but, they don’t hurt your eyes when cutting them. The whole plant is edible–and, I’ve learned that the leaves pack just as much punch as the bulbs. (I harvested the whole plant for learning purposes this year. I didn’t take many though–just enough for me.) Ramps have a long grow time, years in fact–so, you have to be respectful of that, and mindful while harvesting–in the future, I will focus on the leaves primarily.
Once I tried them–raw, and then cooked in an omelette, I decided I needed to preserve the rest as best as possible. They were a flavor I wanted to keep around for as long as I could. I had heard you can make butter with them from a foraging group I’m a part of, and so I sought out a recipe immediately. I found a recipe for Ramp Butter on a blog called Nerds With Knives (omg, that name–LOVE). (You can find their post HERE.) I was hesitant about it at first, just because it called for lemon. My incredibly unsophisticated flavor palate wasn’t loving the thought of that. However, I decided to trust it, and just go with it–and holy crap. Seriously. I am BEYOND glad I did.
If you go to their website you will find fantastic pics, suggested uses, etc. If you’d just like the recipe–I’m your gal. 🙂
You will need:
1lb of unsalted butter (room temp)
25(ish) Ramp leaves
1T. Lemon juice
2t. Lemon zest
Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste
Here’s what to do:
Trim the roots off of the Ramps–if they’re still attached. Wash thoroughly.
You will need to blanche the Ramps. To do so, bring a pot of water to a boil, and also set up a large bowl of icy water. When the water is boiling, place Ramps in it for 30 seconds. Then, immediately, plunge them into the cold water.
Drain, and squeeze the water from the Ramps. Lay them flat on a paper towel to dry a bit more (if necessary.)
Prepare your lemon zest, and juice. (One, large, lemon works perfectly for this.)
Chop Ramps into fine pieces. (Or, use a food processor, if you’d like.)
Add butter to a mixing bowl and mix/mash well. Add the lemon juice, zest and Ramps. Mix well. (I used to stand mixer for this and it worked perfectly.)
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Your butter will store in the refrigerator for about a week. If you freeze it, it will last months. (I left mine in the refrigerator for two days, just to let the flavors marry a bit, and then cut it into smaller pieces for the freezer.)
…and, that’s it. The butter is amazing. My current favorite way to enjoy it is on a toasted English Muffin with one egg, and a slice of cheese. It adds SO much to anything it is used on, without being overpowering.