[cooking] Ramps / Wild Leeks

Last Thursday, before leaving for MD S&W, I wanted to take care of most of the ramps that I kept for myself. I really don't use my food processor much, because there are 400 parts to wash, but it does come in handy from time to time.

I threw in two large bunches of ramps and minced as-is. Then I used this for three different recipes.

Minced ramps

Recipe #1: Compound Butter

I had the foresight to take out six sticks of salted butter from the fridge before work and leave them on the counter to come to room temp over the course of the day. Theywere soft(ish) when I put them into the stand mixer:


Mix a bit on low speed. Add a scant cup of the pureed ramps and juice from half a lemon. Mix on low and then on high, periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl and pushing unmixed butter off the paddle.

Ramp butter

Looks pretty good!! This is my favorite way to preserve the ramps- the compound butter lasts for a long time in the freezer and it makes the best garlic bread. Normally I roll the butter into logs in cling wrap but this time I decided to try out a never-been-used silicone mold from the cupboard:

Silicone mold for ramp butter

Originally purchased as a mold for panna cotta but I thought it would make a pretty presentation for the butter. I scooped in some of the ramp butter, pushed it in evenly and leveled off with a knife:

Ramp butter

Cover with cling wrap, pressing evenly over the butter surface, and into the freezer to store until needed for special occasions. Each mold fit a little less than one stick of butter- I had about 1/3 cup of "extra" butter that didn't fit. That went into a little covered glass dish and we're currently using it up here and there.

Recipe #2: Chimichurri

In glass bowl, I added a cup of minced ramps, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and whisked to make chimichurri. This went into a big mason jar and into the fridge.

Recipe #3: Pesto

With the remaining minced ramps in the food processor, I added pine nuts (not toasted because lazy), parm cheese, salt, pepper. I started to blend and drizzled in olive oil until I got a consistency I liked:

Ramp Pesto

Presto! Pesto!

This wasn't a huge amount of pesto- I didn't have a lot of minced ramps left in the food processor after using so much for the butter and chimichurri but it worked out correct proportionally to the amount of pine nuts I had. The pesto was divided into three little tupperware containers.

So after not much time and effort, I had ramps three ways:

Ramp butter, chimichurri, pesto

I still have one bunch of ramps left that survived the weekend just find in the vegetable drawer in the fridge. I'm trying to come up with a new/creative way to use it. I think I might dehydrate the greens- that might be a good way to store it as a dried herb to add to salt or bread/pasta dough in the future.

I have been using fresh ramps, chopped and sauteed with ground pork and some Korean spices/seasoning, to have over rice. Last night I made Loco Moco with a ramp twist- adding a spoonful of the chimichurri to the ground beef before shaping into patties and frying the eggs in ramp butter. This was so gooood.

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