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Wild Garlic Butter

Addictive wild garlic butter bursting with spring flavors. A must during the season! Freeze it and you can enjoy it for much longer.

This wild garlic butter is the most flavorful, incredible herb butter you could possibly make. The season is short and every year I try to make the most of it. From the usual pesto to bread or risotto, ramsons are super versatile and they add flavor to anything you add them to.

If you are not familiar with this wonderful plant, make sure you read What to Do with Wild Garlic?

close up of creamy green wild garlic butter.

What do you need?

butter, herbs, spices and lemon on a table.

Wild garlic:

  • Also known as ramsons, bear’s garlic or leek, or buckrams, this is one of the most flavorful wild plants you can find. It grows in damp wood, fields, or hedgerows, and although a native of Europe and Asia, it grows throughout North America, in the Eastern half of the United States, and on the West coast as well.
  • Bear’s garlic has a short season. Depending on where you live, you can go foraging between April and June. In Germany, now is the time to go picking, depending on the weather, mid to late April is the best time for it. It’s preferable to pick it while it still has no (or just a few) flowers, once the flowers appear, the leaves will toughen and lose some of their aroma.
  • And just make sure you are picking the right plant, confusing it with the Lily of the Valley or other plants is extremely dangerous! As always when foraging, be 100% sure that you are picking the right plant and what you pick is safe to eat. Read the article mentioned above for more on that.  

Butter:

  • Best quality butter, it’s all about the butter and the plant.
  • You can use either salted or unsalted butter and adjust the amount of salt you add accordingly.

Spices:

  • Only salt, pepper and a little lemon juice.
small jar of green butter.

How to make the herb butter?

You can make the spread either by mixing it in a bowl or in a food processor. Both ways are fine, the main difference is the color of the mixture. If you mix it in a bowl with a spoon the mixture will remain white with streaks of green. If you mix it in the food processor, the leaves will be finer chopped, and the spread will be vibrantly green. Either way, it will taste amazing!

Make sure the butter is at room temperature, otherwise you will not be able to mix it properly with the chopped ramsons. Place it in a bowl and leave it at room temperature for several hours.

Clean the leaves very well. Rinse them individually under hot running water, especially if you have picked them yourself in the woods.

jar of compound butter and a slice of bread behind.

Mixer or hand:

  • Chop the leaves very finely.
  • Beat the softened butter until creamy, add leaves, salt, and pepper to taste, and about 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir very well to combine.
  • Taste and add more salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The amount of salt you need depends on you using salted or unsalted butter. I usually add 1 extra tablespoon of lemon juice, but make sure you add to your taste.
  • If you don’t want to use a mixer is fine as well. Mix all the ingredients with a spoon in a bowl and adjust the taste.
chopping herbs on a wooden board.

Food processor:

  • I use the Thermomix to make the wild garlic butter.
  • Roughly chop the leaves, place them in the food processor, and process for a few seconds until they are rather fine. Scrape down the walls of the machine.
  • Add the softened butter, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • Process for a few seconds again until well combined. Scrape the mixture down the walls of the machine again and make sure everything is properly mixed.
  • Adjust the taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl.
collage of two pictures of mixing herbs in a thermomix.

Alternative recipe:

  • If you don’t have fresh ramsons leaves anymore, but you happened to make the Wild Garlic Paste, mix unsalted butter with a couple of teaspoons of the paste. Use the paste carefully as it is very salty. Start with a little and add more accordingly.
  • This recipe is also perfectly suitable for any other herbs as well. Or see this Herbed Garlic Butter recipe.
collage of two pictures of herb butter in a jar and on bread.

How to store and freeze?

I always divide the mixture in two. I keep the half in a small jar in the fridge, it keeps well for at least one week, probably longer, but we never had it for much longer.

Freeze the rest, it will be fine for at least 3-4 months. It will still be ok after that, but it will lose some of the flavors over time. Either form a log, wrap it well in plastic wrap/cling film and then in foil. Using both helps to retain the flavor, butter can pick up other odors easily. Keep it away from other strongly flavored foods, like onions.

Or freeze it in smaller portions in small silicone molds (Amazon affiliate link). Once the butter is frozen, you can transfer it to freezer bags. This way it will be properly packed and won’t pick other freezer odors.

The logs can be defrosted slowly, overnight, in the fridge. The smaller portions can be added frozen or partially frozen on top of steaks or other hot foods.

preparing herb butter for freezing in a log and in molds.

How to use it?

  • We eat it generously slathered on bread most of the time… it is incredible, you will not need anything else!
  • Otherwise, herb butter is used to enhance the flavor in many other dishes:
  • Serve on top of a steak, like this tagliata or any other steak.
  • Great for pork chops, chicken, or fish as well.
  • Toss through your greens.
  • Mix with steamed or boiled vegetables. Try these Buttered Vegetables or Buttered Peas and use this butter instead of regular.
  • Boil potatoes, peel them, crush them roughly with the fork, and top generously with the spread. Your kids will say you are the best cook in the world! 😊
  • Use it to top Baked Potatoes or to make Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms or Pistachio Crusted Pork Tenderloin.
  • Mix with any kind of cooked pasta or stir into rice.
  • Make pull-apart bread or Herb Garlic Baguette.
slice of bread slathered with green butter.

More wild garlic recipes:

slice of bread slathered with green butter.

Wild Garlic Butter

Yield: 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ about 16 tablespoons
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Addictive wild garlic butter bursting with spring flavors. A must during the season! Freeze it and you can enjoy it for much longer.

Ingredients

  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 2 sticks butter (Note)
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz wild garlic
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Place the butter in a bowl and let it soften at room temperature for several hours, it should be easy to stir.
  2. Wash and dry the wild garlic very well.


With the mixer or spoon:

  1. Chop the leaves very finely. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter until creamy.
  3. Add chopped leaves salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
  4. Or forget the mixer and mix everything with a spoon in a bowl.


Food processor:

  1. Roughly chop the leaves. Process for a few seconds until very finely chopped, scrape them down the walls of the machine.
  2. Add butter, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Process shortly to combine. Adjust the taste.
  3. Keep refrigerated for up to one week or freeze for up to 3-4 months. See instructions regarding freezing in the blog post.

Notes

Either salted or unsalted, adjust the amount of salt you use accordingly.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 237mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

woods full of wild garlic.
What to Do with Wild Garlic?
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very green wild garlic pesto in a small jar.
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