If you are a fan of ramps or interested in them, we have a recipe that is bursting with flavor! Vegan ramp butter is a delicacy that is a treat to make and eat, if you have the opportunity. If you don’t know about ramps, do some research. You might be surprised to learn that either they might be growing near the area you live. You can also buy them at a local farmers market in the spring. So if you have your ramps let’s make this vegan ramp butter!
If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you’d know we recently went on a foraging trip in northern Michigan. On this foraging trip in the Pigeon River State Forest, we found an abundance of RAMPS. For those who don’t know, ramps are similar to a wild garlic/leeks. The whole plant is edible! We actually smelled them before we saw them. The bulbs taste similar to a lighter version of garlic. The leaves are really similar to spinach, but with a garlicky taste. The leaves are really just so nice and tender, with hints of sweetness.
One thing to note is that the stem between the bulb and leave are edible; however, they are best when young and small. If you find/purchase ramps that are more mature, you may want to eat around the stems, or cook the bulbs and the leaves separately.
There are many different ways to eat ramps. Among these, one of the easiest ways is to chop up the bulb, chop the leaves and sauce in a little olive oil or vegan garlic with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
How to Grill Ramps
Another good way to eat them is to grill them up. You can rub a little bit of oil on the whole ramps. Sprinkle the whole ramps with a little salt and pepper, and then grill for 3-5 minutes each side until nicely charred and tender.
Note that when grilling ramps, the leaves will cook a lot quicker than the bulbs. Place the bulb end of the ramp closest to the center of the grill. Keep the leaves a safe distance away from the coals/flames. You can even wrap a bit of tin foil around the leaves to keep them safe from open flame. After the bulbs are nicely grilled and soft, place the leaves over the hot area briefly to sear the leaves. Serve immediately!
How to Make Vegan Ramp Butter
First wash the ramps very well. Ramps are notorious for having bugs, dirt, slugs, and sand. Especially if you have foraged them yourself. You will most likely need to remove the outer layer of the ramps. Also, be sure to take off the roots if still intact.
Begin by separating the leaves from the bulbs. Cut the bulbs in half and then mince fine, just as you would garlic. The leaves can be roughly chopped, and the stems should be discarded or saved for stock if thick. Sauté the butter with the mixed bulbs for 5 minutes until translucent.
Next, add the leaves and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Once cooled for a couple minutes off heat, transfer the vegan ramp butter to the blender. Blend until smooth and strain through a strainer.
Place the butter into desired molds. We prefer to use a silicone mold that is easy to clean and take the butter out of. If you do not have a mold like this, you can use cookie cutters and a plate on the bottom. But if you use this method, just note that you will absolutely want to let your butter cool before transferring. Allow the butter to cool, stirring every 15-20 minutes until firm and pliable. Place into the cookie cutters largely mounded, and scrape the top to smooth, saving the excess butter.
Now it’s time to cool that butter. Place your molded butter into the fridge and allow to cool for at least one hour. Enjoy this vegan ramp butter with pasta, bread, bagels, biscuits, etc.