Ramp Butter and Friends
Here's the story of a lovely lady, I met on facebook,
named Rose Marie,
who is living in Sharon Springs, NY (rural part of New York State).
No she doesn't live with "3 very lovely girls, all with hair of gold, like their mother" (Brady Bunch reference if you are old enough to get it), but even better......she has ramps! (and is an amazing gardener and cook with plenty of land to grow her own vegetables!).
Rose Marie and I are "friends", but only on facebook, we have never met in person and I am envious of her ramps, one could say I have "ramp envy".
How can I get me some ramps?
Well, the garden state (where I live, in New Jersey), has no RAMPS, that I can find.
I've been told by some chef friends that I can forage them near the South Mountain Reservation by the waterfall, however, can you see me going out there and looking for ramps?
I would probably wind up poisoning us in the end, by picking lily of the valley or some poisonous weed instead.
I've taken the ride to the Union Square Greenmarket in the city twice, and when I get there the sign reads RAMPS SOLD OUT. Really? How many bunches of ramps did they have?
What are ramps anyway? and why am I so obsessed with them?
(I had never even heard of "ramps" until 6 years ago, when I started my food blog).
Ramps are wild leeks, a spring allium, and grow wild in certain parts of the U.S.
They smell heavenly, like mild garlic and sweet onion.....I can't explain.
and they are very in vogue right now.
They are the new KALE!
I was getting tired of looking at Rose Marie's eggs, potatoes and pastas all made with ramps.......
I told Rose Marie that I was so envious of her ramps, and she kindly offered to mail me some from her woods. I accepted her generous offer.
Here are Rose Marie's back woods in Sharon Springs, NY with the ramps........she has a lot to share!
My package of beautiful stinky leaves and bulbs arrived safely 2 days later, and ramp butter is what I would make.
I would make enough for 2 sticks of butter, one for my tagliatelle, and one for the freezer for future ramp dishes.
Here's how: (by the way, you have to do this with excitement!).
2 sticks of unsalted good quality butter
2 big bunches of ramps, cleaned and trimmed
1 tsp sea salt
I blanched my ramps for 30 seconds in boiling water, then plunged them into an ice bath to set the lovely green color (you can skip this step, and just chop the ramps raw).
I dried the ramps wrapped in paper towels and squeezed all the moisture out.
After the ramps were dry, I chopped them with my big chef's knife.
Then I threw them in the food processor along w/ the sticks of butter, cut into pieces.
Whizzed a few times and had a beautiful green butter.
Layed the butter out in 2 logs on plastic wrap or parchment paper and rolled into logs.
Sealed up the ends and double wrapped to freeze.
Stays in the freezer for 3 months or more. Take a slice as needed.
Spread on toast, whisk into scrambled eggs, put in a baked potato or mix in with a nice, fresh hot bowl of pasta with some lemon zest!
Spring at its very best.
Thanks Rose Marie!