It’s ramp season! Give three cheers for the short arrival of Springs most prized green!
I got my grabby little hands on a big bunch this week when I went to pick up my weekly Nextdoorganics winter CSA share. It was a pleasant surprise, not to mention good timing, since it seemed like there was only a bag or two of these puppies to hand out. I happily took advantage of the offer, ignoring the request to bring home granola for the week from hubs.
The arrival of greens as a pantry substitution also gets my mind ready for our summer CSA. I still have until June before it starts, but the growing list that Next Door sent out is amazing. This is definitely an exciting growing season to look forward to.
Okay, back to the ramps. Not familiar with them? Wondering what all the hype is about?
Ramps are wild leeks aka a relative of the onion family, aka the thing that Chefs and foodies go crazy for every April.
Flavor wise they taste like garlic.
As for what to do with ramps, you can pickle them, sauté them, fry them, char or grill them, or in my case make pesto out of them.
I chose to leave the ramps raw in my pesto, which makes for a very pungent flavor. If you’d like to tone it down a bit, blanch the ramps for 30 seconds in boiling water and then immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water.
Recipe:3 bunches ramps, cleaned and bulbs removed 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted 1/2 cup Parmigiano or Asiago cheese, grated 3 medium cloves garlic 2 teaspoons lemon zest juice from one lemon salt and pepper 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor, place the ramps, walnuts, cheese, zest, lemon juice and a generous amount of salt and pepper and pulse until combined into a paste. With the processor running, drizzle the oil from the top, starting with 1/3 of a cup. If the pesto looks thick, at the remaining olive oil, if it is a good consistency stop at 1/3 cup. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Store the pesto in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Serve on top of pasta, chicken or fish.