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?