It is high season for ramps, the pungent wild leeks that grow throughout the Appalachian and Catskill mountains. Ellen Silverman sent us photos of the sublime ramp butter she was given by a friend, with an utterly simple recipe that will keep you in ramp heaven for days. She wrote this in her email:
“Cyd McDowell is an amazing food stylist and lover of all things food. She picked the ramps on her property upstate she lives near Great Barrington. All she did was chop the ramps put them in the food processor with good salted butter (I think she used Plugra)… and process. She brought the butter to me when we met for a coffee; it was in a little glass bowl with a round of natural wax paper placed on the top.
We ate it on everything for three nights…on fish sauteed one night and panko-fried another, roasted chicken, steamed clams, bread, asparagus, potatoes; we licked the remains off of our fingers! Now, very regrettably, we have finished it…“
What a gift!!! We could imagine ramp butter in risottos, on pasta, on grilled meats, to cook scrambled or fried eggs in, and of course, on toast…
Here’s a rough little recipe that allows you to gauge the “rampiness” of the butter, and calibrate it as you wish:
Method/Recipe-ette: Ramp Butter
Trim the root ends off a handful of ramps; if they still have dirt on them, wash and spin them dry in a salad spinner. Chop the ramps, both bulb and leaves, and add to the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop them a bit more then add some good butter and process; taste and add more butter until you get the flavor you like. If the butter isn’t salted, add sea salt to taste.
Related posts: ramp supper 2011 (with how-to and recipe)