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Ramp Pesto


Few seasonal foods make a locavore’s heart go pitter-patter as quickly as ramps. Ramps — the word is spoken in hushed, reverential tones — are a foraged food that hits the markets in early spring. Their appearance marks the definitive end of winter and the beginning of the growing season.

IMHO, ramps also win the award for World’s CUTEST Vegetable as its soft, tender leaves always remind me of floppy bunny ears. Added bonus? Its stems are often tipped the prettiest shade of oxidized pink.

In terms of flavor, ramps taste garlicky and green onion-y at the same time. They taste young, new, and freshly-sprouted: the essence of spring.

It’s the very end of ramp season here in the Mid-Atlantic, but if you’re lucky enough to still be able to get your hands on a few bunches for pesto, buy as many as you can and freeze the sauce for later! Ramp pesto is lovely tossed with warm pasta or used to dunk hunks of crusty bread. You can also drizzle it on steak, or anything really.

This post also marks the end of a looooooooooong hiatus! For those readers who are still with me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

For anyone new who stumbles on this blog: Welcome!

To both old friends and new acquaintances, it feels good to be back.


2 bunches of ramps, roots trimmed and cut into 1.5/2-inch pieces

1 knob of butter

1/4 cup of pine nuts

The zest and juice of one lemon

1/3 cup of grated Parmesan

Olive oil


How to prepare:

1. Heat the butter in a large frying pan set over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the ramps and sauté them until the leaves are just beginning to wilt and turn a shade darker. Season them gently and transfer them to a small bowl.

2. When the ramps have cooled, process them with the pine nuts, the lemon zest, the parmesan, and a pinch of salt. With the machine running, add the lemon juice and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the consistency is nice and creamy. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice. Adjust the seasoning for a final time and transfer the pesto to another container.

You should plan on using the pesto in about three days, but it will also keep frozen for about a month.


  1. poodle

    Ramps are something I’ve always wanted to try but have never stumbled upon at the grocery store. I bet I’ll see some in the next few weeks when I’m kitchen-less. That would be my luck.

    • You see them a lot at Farmers Markets! I know what you mean about “luck” though. It happens to me too. As for the kitchen renovation, are you going to be able to use it at all? Will you have a hot plate set up or something?

      • poodle

        Nope. It will be completely gutted. I’ll have to grill outside, use an electric burner, crockpot, microwave, etc. Washing pans and stuff will be an adventure too. I’m sure I’ll have a few meltdowns before it’s over.

  2. Lady Jane Grey

    Ach so, they’re called ramps?! I always thought wild garlic… Good to have you back 😀

    • They’re called wild garlic too! Or wild leeks. I think it depends on the part of the country. And thanks for the comment and the support! It feels good to be back!

  3. Hey…. welcome back Daisy. I still have yet to see Ramps…. Maybe I can improvise with scallion, garlic and parsley 🙂

    • Thank you, John! It feels good to be back. During the semester, it’s just so hard to keep up. In lieu of ramps, your improvisation sounds good! Btw, how is the move going? House sold? All moved in?

      • Darlene is down south already… I have to stay here until the house is sold and probably until the end of the year for work 😦

        • I know it seems like a long time, but it’s going to go by so fast. You’ll be puttering around in your new kitchen before you know it!

  4. Hello darling, this sounds amazing and easy to make. Welcome back ( hee, even though I saw you too weeks ago!).

    • Hello my dear! Pesto is ridiculously easy to make and freeze for later! It’s gets kind of addictive after a while (the pesto-making part … and the pesto-eating part too 🙂 )

      Now that the semester is over, we should figure out a time to play! Just let me know!

  5. Hi Daisy! It’s so great to see you posting again! 🙂

    Looks great and I’d gladly try it – if somebody else would cook it.

    • Undina! It’s so great to be back too. Thanks for the continued support and warm greetings!

      AND if you come to NYC in the springtime, I would be honored to cook anything for you!

  6. Yay, Daisy!! There were soooo many ramps here this year, but it was so very wet this spring that we never climbed up the hill to pick any.

    • No ramps in Oklahoma? I think I did read something about that. Do you have anything called wild onion or wild garlic? I wonder if you can have them sent from a farm…

  7. How nice to have you back in the blogging world, Daisy and with a lovely ramp recipe. Delish. 😀

    • Thank you, Karen! Even though I haven’t been as present, I am still following your adventures from the farm to the sunny Florida! Hope that the summer is treating you well!

  8. Pingback: Scallion-Garlic Pesto | Sybaritica

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