It’s high ramp season, y’all. Grab as much as you can before they disappear and use some in this simple ramp pesto recipe.
One way to make the bright, garlicky flavor of fresh ramps last beyond their all-too-brief season is to whip up a batch of ramp pesto and freeze it. Or half of it. Or, best of all, make TWO batches. One to freeze and one to devour immediately.
The Friday morning Union Square Farmer’s Market has been my happy place this Spring. I try to be there at opening time when it’s not too crowded and the stalls are bursting with all their best stuff. We always eat like KINGS on Friday night because I get so inspired by all the fresh produce and cheeses and meats.
But I have to be so careful not to overspend. It takes constant reminding to be realistic about how much I can actually cook. Not to mention eat! Because letting any of this precious produce go bad is a sin I can’t afford to have on my conscience.
One thing this hypothetical restaurant would be getting a lot of from me these days is ramps.
As an Italian-American gal, my love for garlic is deep and hard-wired into my very existence. But I didn’t discover ramps until a few years ago.
Around the same time I started hanging out at farmer’s markets. Coincidence? I think not.
One of my favorite ways to make sure I use all the ramps I buy is to whip up this ramp pesto. It’s great mixed into pasta, on top of steak, on pizza, but my favorite is on top of roasted sunchokes (my runner-up obsession!)
Incidentally, this is a pesto recipe even folks with pine nut allergies can enjoy because it’s made with pumpkin seeds.
But what if you buy more ramps than you can use immediately? And when I say “you” I mean “me.”
Best way to store fresh ramps in your fridge.
- Place them, bulbs down, into a glass of water.
- Cover with a plastic bag and place in fridge.
- They’ll stay fresh like that about a week provided you change the water every other day.
And here are some great tips on freezing your pesto.
Now you’re all set to enjoy the flavor of ramps well into Summer and, if you play your cards right, even Fall.
Looking for more sauces and spreads? Try my
Simple and bright ramp pesto recipe to make the most out of ramp season.
- 150 g ramps (bulbs and leaves) chopped, root end trimmed
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
In a medium skillet over medium flame, melt butter.
Sautée ramps for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add ramps and pepitas to bowl of food processor and pulse until broken down a bit.
Add lemon juice, cheese and salt and process until well combined, scraping down sides when necessary.
With food processor running, add oil in a steady stream until the pesto comes together at desired consistency.
- 150 g of ramps is approximately one and a half bunches.
- I sautée the ramps first to mellow the flavor a little bit. Consider that step optional if you prefer a stronger flavor.
- Calorie information is approximate and varies according to exact ingredients and serving sizes.