Ramp season is long awaited and often fleeting, so when they are finally available at the farmers' market we find ourselves buying as many ramps as we can and preserving them in different ways for the months to come. This butter is one of our favorite preparations. Blanching the ramps first helps to soften their often sharp flavor and extends their freezer life. The ways to use this delectable butter are endless, but some of our favorites are melting a slice on grilled steak, stuffing it into a baked potato or slathering it on fresh corn.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; prepare a large bowl of ice water. Add the ramps to the boiling water and stir to submerge. Let cook until wilted and dark green, about 1 minute. Immediately transfer to the ice water with tongs and swirl around until completely cooled. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Roughly chop the ramps and transfer to a food processor (see Cook’s Note). Pulse the ramps until they are finely chopped, about 8 pulses. Add the butter, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt and the crushed red pepper flakes if using. Process, scraping down the sides halfway through, until the butter is dark green and everything is well combined, about 2 minutes.
There are several ways to store the ramp butter. You can transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 7 days. You can also transfer the butter to a piece of plastic wrap and roll it into a log, tying off the ends to fully enclose it. Freeze the log for up to 3 months, slicing off pats of butter and re-wrapping whenever you want some.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the ramps and mix everything together in a bowl. It won’t be as green, but it will be equally delicious.
Copyright 2021 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.