Ramp Pesto

It might sound strange -- and it might be because my mom only cooked what was in season when she was pregnant with me, but I have seasonal cravings. In November, all I want to cook is squash, and in July, all I want to eat are tomatoes. One of my favorite ingredients this time of year is ramps. Ramps are part of the allium family, and like white truffles, their growth cannot be forced. They grow for a few short weeks in the spring (April/May) and can be found only in very specialized food markets. When I've worked in restaurant kitchens, I've always paid attention to the ways in which cooks preserve ramps: pickled ramps in salad dressings, freezing ramp pesto, etc. The flavor is just that special. 

This pesto is easy to pull off and can be brushed on yellow corn, used as a pasta sauce, or drizzled on pizza. It can be baked into bread or mixed with grilled chicken. The flavor is peppery, but not too sharp. 

RECIPE. 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 ramp bulbs with their stems 
  • 1.5 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 T roasted almonds or pinenuts 

Directions:  

  • Throw everything in a blender. 
  • Adjust seasoning. 
  • Voilà. 

15 minutes total time.