Ramp Compound Butter Recipe

A bunch of ramps.

Ramps are only in season for about a month or two, but there are a few ways to preserve them so you can enjoy their flavor all year long. My favorite long-term preservation technique is making ramp compound butter and storing it in the freezer. The ramps, locked inside the confines of the frozen butter like Han Solo in carbonite, are essentially stored indefinitely, capturing the "rampy" essence of early spring at any time of year.

The most common compound butter is beurre maitre d'hotel, or hotel butter, composed of shallots, garlic, fines herbes, lemon zest, salt, and pepper; the recipe that follows is a variation on this theme. Generally used for broiled or grilled meats or fish, hotel butter functions as a sort of flavor-inducing sauce. You may find a slice of it sitting, slowly melting, on top of a steak in your steak frites.

Ramp compound butter is great in a pinch, as you can easily pull a log out of the freezer and cut off a slice or two. It's especially good on pasta, in a risotto, or—my preference—tucked underneath the breast skin of a chicken. If you can keep it until fall, it works great under the skin of a Thanksgiving turkey. Don't delay—ramp season is short and is almost over.


Dirty, dirty ramps.

Ramps before and after

The ramps are cleaned and then blanched, ready to be chopped.

Ramp mise en place

Ramp butter mise en place.

Ramps pre-rolled

After mixing, about a 1/2 pound of butter per roll will do.

Rolling ramps

The compound butter is rolled up tight.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
Serves: 80 to 84 servings

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  • 1 1/2 pound ramps, trimmed and cleaned

  • 4 pounds unsalted butter, cut up and at room temperature

  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Thyme (optional)


  1. Trim the ends off of the ramps and clean them well under cold, running water.

  2. Blanch them quickly (30 seconds) by dropping the ramps in a large pot of salted, boiling water, and then shock them in ice water.

  3. Drain the ramps, squeezing as much liquid out as you can. With a sharp knife, thinly slice the ramps.

  4. In a large bowl (or Kitchenaid with a paddle), mix well butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, ramps, salt, and pepper.

  5. On sheets of parchment, form logs of butter of approximately 1/2 pound each, and roll the parchment tightly around the butter.

  6. Put the butter logs in two sets of freezer bags and seal tightly, removing all the air, and store in the freezer.

Special equipment

Parchment Paper (or wax paper), freezer bags


As an alternative to using parchment, you can use all the leftover butter wrappers to make small logs. Plastic wrap or wax paper can be used as as well.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
158 Calories
18g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 80 to 84
Amount per serving
Calories 158
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 22%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 45mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 31mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)