Rampin' Into Spring

May 1, 2014

Also known as wild leeks, ramps add zing to countless dishes and bring a pepper-y, spice-y taste to what might otherwise be an ordinary dish.


Ramps are a unique vegetable growing in the wild with a pungent taste which is a cross between garlic and leek. It only appears in the spring in the mountain areas. Long familiar to montain folks, in the last few years world-class chefs have begun to discover ramps excellent flavor and wide variety of If you have not tried this Appalachian treat now is the time.


Ramps may be prepared in in number of ways - here is a recipe for Ramp Pesto. Spread it on crackers, stir into pasta or drizzle on roasted chicken.


Ingredients (quantities to taste)

Ramps - bulbs and greens

olive oil

Kosher salt

pine nuts

Parmesan cheese


Roughly chop greens and bulbs into 1/2" pieces and place in mortar or rough textured bowl with a pinch of kosher salt. Grind against the surface of bowl using salt grit to break down the fibers until they form a uniform paste. Sprinkle in pine nuts and crush into the paste with mortar. Once they are integrated, drizzle olive oil, stirring constantly to achieve a smooth consistency. Sprinkle in Parmesan cheese to taste. This can also be done in a food processor. As in other pesto, you can freeze into cubes before adding the cheese and enjoy this well into the summer, just adding the cheese before serving.



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