Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ramp Pesto with Almonds

Ever since my week long bout with pine mouth, I have been hesitant about eating pine nuts. But being that we are in the midst of ramp season, I just had to make a batch of ramp pesto, one of my favorite preparations for the spring vegetable.  While I nearly took the plunge and used the traditional, innocuous-looking but potentially taste-bud-killing pine nuts, in the end I took the safe route and used almonds, my go-to nut when I need to add some crunch to a dish.  I served the pesto alongside roast chicken and sauteed asparagus and Shiitake mushrooms.  The almonds worked perfectly, adding just the right amount of texture to the pungent ramp pesto.  More importantly, I could still taste my dessert. 

Ramp Pesto

  • 1 bunch of ramp leaves with two ramp bulbs, roots removed 
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • salt, to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ramp leaves and bulbs.  Run the food processor and slowly pour in the oil with the motor running.  Continue to process the ramp mixture until it has formed into a smooth paste.  Add the almonds and cheese and pulse until the pesto is well blended (the pesto should not be chunky, but should have some texture from the nuts).  Taste for salt and serve immediately or refrigerate for several days.


  1. Been looking for something to do with a bunch of ramps that are almost past their prime. I think I'll make this tonight! How long does the pesto usually last in the fridge? Several days? Is it freeze-able?

    This is my first season being aware of how awesome ramps are so I'm looking for anything I can do to extend it!

  2. The pesto should last at lease 5 days. You can also freeze it; freezing it in ice cube trays works particularly well as then you can just take melt small servings of the pesto each time you want it.

    I'm somewhat of a newbie to ramps as well! I'm glad to hear that you enjoy them as much as I do. Let me know how the pesto turns out.

  3. Fantastic post! I love, love LOVE pestos. Never thought of one with ramps though! I just did a cilantro pesto with walnuts (will post soon), which I find to be a suitable and flavorful stand in for pinenuts.

  4. Thanks Tara! I'd definitely be interested in your cilantro pesto recipe. Can't wait to see your post!



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