HOT RAMPS, I LOVE YOU SO!


The Ramp craze has it’s devotees and detractors. They are so HOT right now (and not to be persnickety, have been in NYC for the last few years). It is one popular, stinky, and super delicious little allium still enjoying it’s day in the hip culinary trend sun.

Where I am here in central VA, one would think they’d be rampant (sorry).
Just a quick trek to a nearby forest and you are all set. Well, one would be wrong. I have searched high and low since late March and not one farmers market has had any to sell.
This past Monday, I popped into Farm to Family and my luck changed. I was a little put off as to how they were presented there, I am used to my ramps -greens attached…and not in plastic baggies. The farmers road is a hard one however, and I am not one to judge or to stare a gift ramp in the face for that matter. So home we went.
How best to use these ramps? We always put them into pasta, so that’s been done. Sometimes a quick saute for an appetizer is easy and fun. (We have yet to grill them I just realized, that would be spectacular, no doubt). I remembered a friend recently bragging about devouring some ramp concoction his mate brought back home from her shift at a local restaurant…and it hit me. RAMP BUTTER. He had mentioned ramp BUTTER.
How could I be so stupid!! The obvious answer to bringing any food obsession into the next phase of maniacal behavior; Turn it into a butter.

I softened a stick and a half of butter. I blanched the ramps you see pictured (put into boiling water for around 40 seconds, then plunge into an ice bath). I sliced them up and then in the mixer on low speed introduced them and some salt and pepper to the butter. Rolled up into some parchment and left to harden up in the fridge, this made an excellent gift last night for a friend.

I do wish the leaves had been left on, a bright green chiffonade would have enhanced the butter’s appearance and flavor of course. Leaves or not, I am not gonna lie, that was some tasty butter.
Perfect for fish, pasta, biscuits, popcorn, a baguette, a sandwich, anyplace butter goes! Onto a spoon and into your mouth! Also it gives ramps a nice little fatty home for a stay in the freezer ensuring that we can have ramp flavor well after the season is over.

How would you use ramps or ramp butter?

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4 responses to “HOT RAMPS, I LOVE YOU SO!

  1. Thank you so much for the lovely blog post about ramps, definitely one of my favorite foraged foods. My dad used to take me foraging as a child – we ate everything and anything – and told me stories of how as a child his friends would eat them before school, and as it was a one room school, the teacher would then dismiss the class because of the stench!

    Thank you for finding your way to our Farm to Family Market. Sharon, my forager and I apologize for the less than stellar presentation, but as they came from the woods near Winchester and were going to seed, off went the tops.

    Next time you come, you should try our grass-fed cultured butter from Mt View Dairy in the Shenandoah Valley….Butter makes everything better.

  2. Thanks so much Suzi for having them at F2F and extend my thanks to your friend Sharon! They were delicious- tops or not!

  3. Ramp butter?! I think I have died and gone to heaven! Just the idea of ramps all year long makes me all tingly.

    I’m looking into growing our own ramps in the woods on the farm. Maybe next year, you can come forage on our farm and dig up some yummy ramp goodness. One can never have enough ramps!

  4. I would love that Sharon! Thank you! And thanks for foraging those ramps. In NYC (where I lived the past 16 years) I would go to Union Square Farmers Market and circle the ramp guy’s stall, peeking to see if he had them. They would always sell out within a couple hours. I am already looking forward to next year!

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