Ramps (or wild leeks) seem to be all the rage nowadays. Not two years ago, I had no idea they existed. Now, they’re popping up on food sites, at farmer’s markets, and even the local grocery store. As far as bandwagons go, this is a good one to board. Pungent and garlicky, ramps are perfect in pesto form.
Ramps grow in the mud, so be sure to clean them extremely thoroughly. (I found a tiny slug clinging to a leaf!) They are pretty little things, aren’t they?
Combine and blend, simple as that.
Beautiful, no? Ramp season is very short: late April to early June. It’s almost over, so get thee to a farmer’s market!
There are a million ways to use this pesto, and I’ve listed a few below. I tossed mine with gnocchi for lunch the other day.
RAMP PESTO makes 1 cup
12 whole ramps ramps
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (roasted or unroasted is fine, but make sure they’re unsalted)
2/3 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan chesse
Roughly chop the ramps. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
HOW TO USE IT:
tossed with any kind of pasta or gnocchi
on a pizza
in a grilled cheese sandwich
stirred into mayo for a lovely dipping sauce or spread
mixed with a tuna salad or chicken salad for your weekday lunches
tossed with roasted potatoes
tossed with almonds, then roasted
stirred into mac and cheese
easy soup: chicken broth, chopped tomatoes, shredded chicken, tortellini, baby spinach, a scoop of pesto
made into compound butter and smotherd onto corn
with mussels and white wine
whisked with champagne vinegar for a simple dressing
in an egg sandwich or wrap, for breakfast
and on and on….