Ramps occupy a space between flavors. Between leeks, between scallions and between garlic. They’ve got the sweetness of onions slowly melted into butter but the pungency you’d find in raw garlic. Their slender, glossy green leaves and crunchy bulbs are versatile enough to be pickled, sauteed, or grilled. When I see them, I grab enough to enjoy fresh in pasta with plenty left over to turn into this good-on-everything charred ramp butter.
What to do with charred ramp butter. Everything.
That might sound dramatic, but it’s nearly true. You can use ramp butter in any recipe calling for scallions or leeks. Melt over a steak, spread across toast, swirl into pan sauces. Fish, chicken, steak, pasta, rice, beans. It all works. Best of all, ramp butter has a generous shelf life of four months in the freezer.
Charred Ramp Butter with Coriander
- ½ lb ramps
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Toss 1/2 lb [227 g] ramps with 2 Tbsp [30 ml] olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Grill, tossing often, until ramps are lightly charred, about 1 to 2 minutes. When cool enough to handle, finely mince.
- In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast 1 tsp coriander seeds until just fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool before grinding to a power in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
- In a food processor, combine 1 lb [455 g] butter, minced ramps, ground coriander, ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Processed until well blended, 1-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each minute. The mixture should have a green color with flecks of ramps still visible.