Spring is waning and giving way to hotter days and summer time, so ramp season is coming to an end. If you are unfamiliar with ramps, they are a wild onion that can be foraged in the spring, that have a pungent flavor reminiscent of garlic and leeks. You can use the whole plant, including the bulb or just the green leafy tops.
To use up what I have left, I like to throw my end-of-season ramps into sauces like my chimichurri sauce or into scrambles and hashes. One of my favorite sauces to make with ramps is Ramp Pesto. For this recipe, I use the whole ramp, bulb and all, but if you only forage the green tops, you can just use those as well.
This pesto is potent and flavor-packed due to the high percentage of ramps to basil, so a little goes a long way. You can put this on pasta, sourdough grilled cheese, scrambled eggs, asparagus, mix into mayo, or just about anything that you want to add a pop of flavor to or anywhere you would normally use pesto. You could easily double or triple this recipe to make a big batch to stick in the freezer for spring time flavors all year long!
Makes 2 cups
2 cups ramps, chopped and packed
3 cups basil, chopped and packed
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup lemon juice)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
~1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
In a blender or food processor, combine the ramps, basil, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, walnuts and cheese. Pulse several times until the large pieces are broken up.
With the blender running, stream in the olive oil gradually until the pesto becomes smooth, which is about a 1/2 cup.
Transfer to glass jars and refrigerate until ready to use. This will keep for several weeks in the fridge.
You can also put in freezer-safe containers and freeze for long-term storage, where it will keep for several months.
Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.