Ramp Pesto and How to Use It

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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.

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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?

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Combine and blend, simple as that.

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Beautiful, no? Ramp season is very short: late April to early June. It’s almost over, so get thee to a farmer’s market!

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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.

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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….

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