Wild ramps are a favorite vegetable we wait for each spring. These mini onion bulbs taste like a cross between an onion and garlic and can be eaten raw or cooked. One of our favorite dishes to make with the above ground greens is a ramp pesto. We harvest the leaves when they are about 6” tall, leaving the bulbs intact underground.
- 2 cups (2 handfuls) of fresh ramp greens, rinsed
- 1⁄4 cup of organic almonds, walnuts, pecans or pine nuts
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
Blanch the ramp greens. To blanch the greens, you will need to set up a pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Boil the greens for 1 minute and then plunge them into the ice bath for one minute. Squeeze out the excess liquid and lay out to dry until time to use them.
Use a mortar and pestle to crush the three garlic cloves as much as possible.
Add the nuts to the garlic and crush until a paste is created.
Chop the ramp greens. Add them and the Parmesan cheese to the garlic/nut paste. Pound, crush, and mix them together, about 10 minutes, to combine.
Incorporate the olive oil, a little at a time to fully mix. You can add more to your liking. Use fresh or freeze for up to 6 months.
This pesto goes well with pasta, fish, potatoes, sweet potato, chicken, risotto, bread… the possibilities are endless!
Volume 40 , Number 2