Wild Ramp Pesto

By • April 30, 2010 37 Comments

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Author Notes: OK, this is basically just Ramp Pesto, but I think adding the "Wild" makes it sounds a little more exciting. You can add a number of other greens to this recipe... I've tried basil (which didn't really work, for me), parsley (which made it a little milder) and arugula (which had a real snappy, spicy flavor). My friend Lola threw in a little spinach, but she's always trying to one-up me. So this is just the basic recipe... customize as you see fit. Also, use whatever nut you prefer. Some people love pine nuts, I tend to favor walnuts. Isn't this a great country? - saenycsaenyc

Food52 Review: Fiery and bright, saenyc's pesto surprised us in a couple of ways: it's creamier than we expected it to be, despite a relatively small amount of olive oil and parmesan, and it has a lovely mild sweetness from the combination of the tender ramp bulbs and the walnuts. We added a fair amount of salt to balance and heighten the other flavors, and the juice of half a lemon. Amanda folded the pesto into some spaghetti with bacon and peas for dinner, with very happy results. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4-6

  • 1 bunch of ramps
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (toasted)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or 1/2 cup, you kind of have to eyeball it)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • a squirt of lemon
  1. Wash and cut off the leaves of the ramps.
  2. Optional step: blanche the ramp leaves in boiling water. Some say this makes the pesto more bright and vibrant. I think it's plenty beautiful either way.
  3. Chop the ramps and walnuts just a bit and put them in your food processor.
  4. Add most of the cheese (save a sprinkle for serving) and a good dash of salt and pepper.
  5. Pouring the olive oil in slowly, process contents until they combine and look, well... pesto-y.
  6. Taste for seasoning and add a good squirt of lemon.
  7. Use to top your favorite pasta, or grilled bread... and enjoy.

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