Just had one of my first spring harvests from our garden and could not be more excited then to have some ramps!
What is a ramp? Here's the short answer: ramps are a wild onion that grows during the spring in the U.S. They are sometimes referred to as wild leeks. They taste like a balanced mixture of garlic and onion. They're pungent, delicious and perfect with a mix of fat.
Once trimmed, the entire ramp is edible, leaves and all, and some describe their mild taste as a cross between leeks and garlic. Ramps can be served in lots of different ways: in omelets, on toast with eggs, pickled, sautéed with vegetables, in salads and pastas.
Now, lets make some pesto!
2 bunches of fresh ramps
3 tbsp nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, pecans) , toasted - this is also an optional part
3 tbsp Grana Padano , grated – Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano may be substituted
1/2 of a lemon juiced
Sea salt and pepper , to taste
Prepare the ramps: Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves. Trim away the bottom roots of each bulb. Cut off and roughly chop each ramp bulb, then roughly cut or hand tear the leaves and stems.
Add the bulbs and nuts to a food processor. Process until a thick paste develops, about a minute. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl midway through.
Add the ramp leaves, lemon juice, cheese, salt, and pepper to the food processor bowl. Process until evenly combined.
With the processor still running, add olive in a slow steady stream until the pesto is the consistency your prefer. (See Note)
Notes Depending on if you like to have your pesto as a thicker paste or more like a dressing is based on how much olive oil you will use. I generally keep thicker and then add olive oil when I use it each time.
I love using this as a salad dressing, marinade, add to pasta, eggs and pizza.