Ramp butter is insanely delicious and super easy to make. It’s amazing on grilled meat, fish, vegetables, pasta or spread on toasted bread with a sprinkle of sea salt! Ramp butter is also a great way to preserve ramps past their season. Store the butter in the freezer for longer preservation.
Ramp butter is a type of compound butter, which is the result of mixing butter with one or more other ingredients to enhance the flavor. What’s great about ramp butter is that it’s so simple to make, but packs so much flavor! All you need is softened butter, ramps and a pinch of salt. You’ll have ramp compound butter in under 20 minutes! If you don’t have access to ramps, try using leeks!
What are Ramps? Where do Ramps Grow?
Ramps grow for only a few short weeks during the Spring in shaded areas of the woods. Ramps are also commonly referred to as wild onions, wild leeks, or wild garlic. They have an almost spicy like flavor that is like a combination of onion and garlic. They’re great for cooking with or eating raw!
My family loves to soak the bulbs in a jar with vinegar, then eat them raw with a sprinkle of salt. It’s almost like quick pickling.
The best part about ramps is that the entire plant is edible and has the same garlicky onion flavor. You can eat the bulb, stem and leaves!
Where Can You Buy Ramps?
If you aren’t able to harvest your own ramps, often times you can find ramps at Whole Foods or your local farmers market.
Ramps have a very short growing season, so if you can’t find Ramps, you can substitute leeks for this recipe to make leek butter!
How to Clean Ramps.
When cleaning ramps, please keep in mind that the bulbs, stems and the leaves are all edible!!
To clean the ramps, I like to fill my sink full of cold water, then toss in all of the ramps.
Working with one ramp at a time, you’ll first remove the translucent skin that cover the bulbs – this step will also take most the dirt with it. While holding the stem of the ramp with one hand, use your other hand to grab the ramp at the top of the bulb and pull down toward the root peeling back the skin.
Next, cut off and discard the skin and the root by cutting at the very bottom of the bulb. Check the ramp for any bad spots on the leaves, cutting off and discarding those pieces off, as well.
Give the trimmed ramp one last rinse under clean water and you’re good to go!
How to Make Easy Ramp Butter.
Let me start by saying that I tested two methods, and Nate and I both decided that there was a clear winner.
When making the first batch of ramp butter, I blanched the ramps (bulbs, stem and leaves) in boiling water for about 30-45 seconds to soften them slightly. But, I felt as though this removed a lot of that spicy flavor that we all love about ramps. It resulted in a mild ramp butter. Good, but no great. I then debated sautéing the ramps in butter instead, but I know that also mellows out the flavor. Sooo, here’s what I did next.
Instead of blanching or sautéing the ramps, I left them raw! Yep. No cooking necessary. Have you ever eaten a ramp raw? They’re actually really good that way. So I figured, why not add raw ramps to the butter. Here’s how to do it.
- Wash the ramps then cut off and discard the roots and any bad spots on the leaves. You will use the whole ramp – bulbs, stems and leaves.
- Roughly chop each ramp into a few pieces so they’re easier to chop in a food processor.
- Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd your food processor, pulse until the ramps are very finely chopped.
- Mix the chopped ramps with softened butter until well combined.
- Store in the fridge or freezer.
It’s so easy, but don’t underestimate how good it is!!
Ways to Use Ramp Butter.
There are so many great ways to use ramp butter. Anything that pairs well with onions or garlic, would be amazing with ramp butter.
You can spread ramp butter on steaks, pork chops, and fish. It’s also delicious on roasted potatoes and vegetables and tossed with warm pasta.
But, one of my favorite ways to enjoy ramp butter… spread on a thick-cut piece of multigrain toast then sprinkled with a little salt. IT IS AMAZING. Think of it as almost like garlic bread, but better. It would be amazing served alongside spaghetti, but it can really be enjoyed any time of the day. I literally just add toast with ramp butter for breakfast alongside eggs. So so good!!
How to Preserve Ramps.
There are 3 ways that I like to preserve ramps, not in any particular order.
- Ramp butter, of course! Ramp butter will last for one week in the fridge and at least a few months in the freezer.
- Quick pickled ramps. For this preservation method I only use the stems and the bulbs. To make quick pickled ramps, I cut off the leaves (saving them for another use), leaving the bulb and stem intact. I add them to a jar and cover the ramps with the same quick pickling brine that I use for my Easy Quick Pickled Onions. Let sit at least a few hours or overnight before eating. Stored in the refrigerator, the quick pickled ramps should last for a few months.
- Freeze ramps. To freeze ramps, thinly slice the bulbs and the stems. To freeze the leaves, I recommend first roughly chopping the leaves then adding them to a pot of boiling water for about 15 seconds to quickly blanch the leaves. This prevents them from turning brown in the freezer. Once the leaves are blanched, strain them from the boiling water and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out the excess water or pat the leaves dry. Before adding the ramps to a freezer bag, I recommend laying the bulbs, stems and leaves out on a parchment lined baking sheet and placing that in the freezer for about 1 hour. This prevents the ramps from all freezing together in one ball. This way you can take as many or as little amount of ramps from the freezer when needed.
Tips & Substitutions.
- If you don’t have access to ramps, try substituting leeks! You will need about 1 cup of very finely chopped leeks.
- How to store ramp butter. I like to keep a small jar in the fridge and freeze the rest for later use.
- Fridge: Store the ramp butter in a sealed dish in the fridge for up to one week.
- Freezer: To store the ramp butter in the freezer, I like to first roll it into into a log. To do so, transfer the ramp butter to a sheet of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap, placing the butter on the edge closest to you. Keeping the paper or plastic wrap tight, roll into a log. Twist the ends and tie with string or a twist tie. Store in the freezer for 3-4 months. Alternatively, you can freeze the butter in any freezer safe container or bag.
If you make this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Please rate the recipe below using the stars or leave a comment. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture of the food you created and tag me at Modern Farmhouse Eats! I love seeing all the pictures! 😊
Delicious Ramp Butter
- 1 cup salted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 15-20 large ramps (about 3/4 – 1 cup of finely chopped ramps)
- pinch of salt
- Wash the ramps then cut off and discard the roots and any bad spots on the leaves. For this recipe, you will use the whole ramp – bulbs, stems and leaves.
- Roughly chop each ramp into a few pieces so they're easier to chop in a food processor. Working in batches so you don't overcrowd your food processor, pulse until the ramps are very finely chopped.
- In a small bowl, mix the chopped ramps with softened butter until well combined. If desired, mix in a small pinch of sea salt.
- Enjoy ramp butter on meat, fish, vegetables, pasta or spread on toasted bread with an extra sprinkle of sea salt!
- How to store the butter:Fridge: Store the ramp butter in a sealed dish in the fridge for up to one week.Freezer: To store the ramp butter in the freezer, I like to first roll it into into a log. To do so, transfer the ramp butter to a sheet of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap, placing the butter on the edge closest to you. Keeping the paper or plastic wrap tight, roll into a log. Twist the ends and tie with string or a twist tie. Store in the freezer for 3-4 months.