My husband and I are fortunate to have many large patches of ramps(also known as wild leeks) located on our woodland property. We chop and freeze several pounds of the raw ones(green and the white parts) for later use in recipes. This recipe for compound butter may be frozen in logs for future use. it is excellent on steamed vegetables, potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, etc. Ramps grow from South Carolina to Canada, and in many areas they're considered a spring delicacy and even a reason for celebration. The flavor is a cross between green onion or scallion and garlic. Dig these spring treasures now because their growing season is limited to a few short weeks. I also have a recipe posted for Potato, Bacon, Ham, & Ramp (Wild Leek Soup) on the Just a Pinch site. Regular cultivated leeks, available at most grocery stores, may be substituted in either recipe after trimming and discarding any tough green outer leaves.
1Trim the root ends from the ramps and clean them well under cold running water.
2Blanch the clean ramps quickly by dropping them for 30 seconds in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the ramps from the boiling water with tongs and shock them in a sink full of ice and water to cool them down quickly so they retain their fresh green color. Drain the ramps, squeezing out as much liquid as you can with your hands.
3With a sharp knife, thinly slice the chilled & drained blanched ramps.
4In a large bowl (or Kitchen Aid mixer with a paddle), mix butter, lemon juice, ramps, salt and pepper.
5Form 1/4 lb. logs of the mixture and wrap tightly in pieces of wax paper, parchment paper or plastic wrap.
6Place wrapped logs of compound butter in a large zip lock bag and freeze.
7Note: This spring, I did not bother to blanch the ramps but rather relied on my food processor to chop them up raw with the addition of lemon zest and juice before adding them to the mixing bowl of softened butter.