This is my submission for Daphne's Dandelions weekly Harvest Monday where you can share your recent harvests or what you might be doing with past harvests.
In my case, I've only just started some veggie seeds so I definitely have some time to go before I'll have anything fresh to harvest (especially since it snowed again today ... ugh!). But I am still working through what's left of last year's stores.
Twice previously this winter I pulled a bag of greens out of the freezer thinking it was swiss chard (due to my obvious inability to label things). But it was ramps (wild leeks) so I just put the bag back in the freezer. And then I did the same thing again this weekend so thought I'd better just do something with them - so I made ramp butter.
The ramps were given to me by a friend last spring (I suspect we are at least 6 weeks away from getting fresh ones this year). I had so many last year that the leftovers had been lightly braised then frozen. After thawing them out, I squeezed out as much liquid as I could then placed them in a dry pan on low heat to extract any remaining liquid (or at least as much as I could get out).
I took 2.5 ounces (about 1/2 cup) and processed them in a food processor. I then stirred them into 1 pound of unsalted butter along with 1 Tbsp of freshly grated lemon zest and a pinch or two of kosher salt.
Most of the mixture was wrapped in plastic wrapping to form logs - these can be stored in the freezer and easily pulled out and sliced whenever I want to add a bit of extra flavour to a dish. This will be great for starting off fried eggs or potatoes. It can be used to top just about any vegetable or spread on toast or biscuits. And it will be a delicious finish to a risotto or pasta dish.
Three large logs of ramp butter were put in the freezer for later use. I kept some aside and ate it with some of the last fingerling (and one russian blue) potatoes from the fall harvest. The few potatoes I have left now will be used as seed potatoes for this year.
I had never heard of ramps until this past year - I must give them a try although I don't recall ever seeing them for sale. I did the mistaken baggie thing as well this year - I planned to put a bunch of frozen shredded collard greens into a soup but ended up using a bag of cilantro instead. This year I WILL be a better labeler!ReplyDelete
LOL, cilantro instead of collard greens ... oops! :) You know, I've never seen ramps for sale anywhere either, just lucky enough to have friends that like to forage.Delete
A friend gave me some ramps last year, ate some and planted the ones with roots am hoping they will come back this year.ReplyDelete
I hadn't even thought of trying that ... if I get more this year, I'll do the same. Hope it works out for you!Delete
My biggest problem with things in the freezer is eating them up before the new stuff starts to come in. Fresh trumps frozen any day so it can be a bit scary excavating in the back of the freezer!ReplyDelete
I definitely don't have that problem with fresh over frozen (I wish) - but I do can a lot of tomato sauce and pickles and they tend to last well into the next year's batch.Delete
I have the same labeling problem. One year I actually told myself I could tell the difference between frozen kale, spinach, and chard. I take all the stem out of the chard and it is a white variety. So no I really can't at least until it is unfrozen a bit. I put them in the same bag too. I won't do that again. Well at least I hope I won't.ReplyDelete
Once the stems are off, I can barely tell one from the other even fresh!! Yes, let's all try to label better, LOL.Delete