Condiments & Sauces

Amped for Ramps part deux: Ramp and Green Garlic pesto


Oh dear. This stuff. This stuff is good.

I am a pesto lover. Always have been, and I don’t see the flame dying down anytime soon. Like most, I began my foray into the world of pesto through the traditional basil and pine nut combo, but I quickly began experimenting with other greens (parsley, cilantro, spinach, dill) and nuts (walnuts and pecans). Everything was pretty fantastic, though we might be able to attribute that to the sheer bliss that olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice induce when combined.

But ramp and green onion pesto is on a plane of its own. A plane where democrats and republicans get along and every day starts with freshly picked wild strawberries. And it tastes good on EVERYTHING. On a roasted chicken, with sauteed vegetables, drizzled over boiled potatoes. Mix it with a little more olive oil and a vinegar and you’ve got salad dressing. Mix it into scrambled eggs. Serve on top of steak. Just eat it STRAIGHT FROM THE JAR.

Fair warning: this stuff is strong. But hey, that’s the way this girl likes it.

Ramp and Green Garlic Pesto

1/2 bunch of ramps

1/2 bunch green garlic

Handful of spinach

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil (depending on how thick you want your pesto)

lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste

If you have a mortar and pestle and abundant time, be my guest and grind up your pesto by hand. I did it in my food processor.

Roughly chop all the green things, then throw everything into your food processor. Pulse until its mixed to your favorite consistency (I went pretty fine this time), and scoop into a jar for safekeeping. The recipe makes a little more than a cup.  Pesto only keeps at room temperature for a week or two, so if you have more than you think you can cook with, pesto freezes extremely well. Quick tip: freezing pesto in an ice cube tray makes pre-portioned cubes for quick flavor and easy access.

I used most of my batch on a roasted chicken and some roasted potatoes for dinner, but I’m hoping to experiment with it in salad vinaigrette and drizzled into some airy scrambled eggs. That’s the beauty of pesto; it’s so easy to incorporate you find it sneaking into all sorts of dishes.

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This pesto feels like a declaration of summer to me. But not Texan summer, Northern New England summer, where berries grow in everyone’s back yards and it’s constantly breezy and balmy (or so I am told). This is my very first summer away from the southern heartland, and I’d say it’s starting smashing-ly.


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