Has anyone else had her life changed by compound butter? If so, call me, we can start a support group. This stuff is amaaaaazing! I have always seen compound butter on cooking shows and such, but I never made it. Until I got ramps in my bag. After doing a happy dance, I thought to myself, hmm, how can I use these all up? Since they have a short season, I wanted to make the most of them, and this butter was 100 percent the right move! It’s also literally just butter, ramps, and a little lemon zest, and it hits the spot. It makes everything taste better! I put it on toast, as pictured, fish, potatoes, eggs, and many others that I can’t recall because all I can think about right now is this toast.
First, let’s back up a sec and talk about what ramps are and why they are so awesome. Ramps are sometimes called wild leeks, and they are part of the onion family. They grow, as the name suggests, in the wild and are foraged when in season. Ramps are a great source of vitamins and minerals as well, containing vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as selenium and chromium.
They taste like a mix of onion and garlic, and the flavor can be quite strong. You can always temper the flavor by blanching the ramps before cooking, or just using a tiny bit. I blanched mine for the butter, but I think it would have tasted fine without blanching too.
Once I had blanched them, I chopped them up and put them in a bowl with a stick of softened butter. I like to use salted butter. If you prefer to use unsalted, just add some salt to the bowl as well.
Now, you can mix by hand to keep it chunky (my preference), but you can also just pop it all in the food processor and get green ramp butter! I think that would be interesting-looking, but I like seeing the pieces of ramp and lemon zest on my food, and promptly chomping down on them.
Voila! Compound butter. So easy and delicious. I immediately put it on toast:
Then I stored the rest for the fish I was making for dinner. Just a pat or two on the fish gave it a real flavor boost! You can store your butter either in the freezer (to really preserve ramp season!) or in the butter container/wrapper, or in a storage jar like I did. It makes it easy to grab out of the fridge.
So give this recipe a try! It is one stick of butter, 3 ramps, blanched and chopped, and then about a teaspoon of lemon zest. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!