Make Ahead

Spring Pesto

February 23, 2014
Author Notes

Ramps are the quintessential spring food. Here, they are used in place of garlic to make a unique pesto. Lemon zest adds to the crisp, clear flavor and nutmeg provides a subtle woodsiness. If you don’t have access to ramps, swap them for a couple of cloves of garlic. I've gone a little sparingly on the olive oil; feel free to add more as desired. This pesto is fantastic when tossed with pasta or spread on top of crostini. —littleknitter

  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups lightly packed basil
  • 1 cup lightly packed arugula
  • 3 ramps
  • 1/4 cup blanched, toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or more, depending on the desired consistency of your pesto)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Wash and dry the basil, arugula, and ramps and place into a food processor.
  2. Add the almonds, cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, and nutmeg to the food processor.
  3. Add the olive oil, a little at a time, and process until the pesto has reached the desired consistency. If you prefer your pesto a little thinner, add a little more olive oil . Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve with pasta or on top of crostini.

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My one party trick is that I have a photographic memory when it comes to food. I can not only remember almost every meal that I have eaten in a restaurant ever, down to each individual ingredient and the way it was presented, but I can do the same thing for everyone else who was eating with me. Totally weird, but fun! Much to my mother's chagrin, my passion for cooking started early. At the age of 5, I was reading a picture book that described (in basic terms) how to make custard - just eggs, milk, and sugar! I waited until my mother went downstairs to put the laundry in the dryer, then promptly dumped an entire gallon of milk into a bowl and cracked two eggs into it. As I was staring into the bowl, contemplating the raw, runny yolks staring balefully back up at me, I was busted by my mother. Instead of going ballistic (ok, she went a little ballistic), she sighed and said "ok, let's use this to make tapioca," thus teaching me an important lesson in salvaging botched food experiments. http://thebookishcook.wordpress.com