Wash the ramp leaves and basil thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
Toast the pine nuts lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat until they're golden brown, ensuring they don’t burn. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool. Grate the Parmesan cheese finely and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ramp leaves, basil, cooled pine nuts, and garlic. Pulse the mixture several times until coarsely chopped.
While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture becomes smooth and well-combined.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
Season the pesto with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed to suit your palate.
Your ramp pesto is now ready to be served! It pairs wonderfully with pasta, crusty bread, or as a delightful spread over grilled meats.
Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are a North American species of wild onion that grow during the spring in eastern Canada and the U.S. They have a unique flavor that combines the earthiness of garlic with the zesty bite of onions. Ramps have broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with a purple or burgundy tinge on the lower stems, and a small white bulb resembling that of a scallion. Their fleeting seasonality and distinctive taste make them a sought-after ingredient among chefs and food enthusiasts.
In culinary terms, ramps add a unique flavor profile to dishes, offering a blend of garlicky and oniony notes that can enhance sauces, pestos, salads, and more. Their bold flavor can stand alone or meld well with other ingredients, providing a versatile base for a variety of culinary explorations. Moreover, ramps are known for their nutritional value, being rich in vitamins A and C, and minerals. They can be sautéed, grilled, pickled, or used fresh, making them a cherished ingredient for those looking to experiment with different taste dimensions in their cooking.
Great question – check out our marketplace where you can buy fresh wild ramps directly from foragers and cultivators.