Ramps, and a Delicious Quick and Easy Ramp Pesto

| May 11, 2010 | 5 Comments

This quick and easy recipe for Ramp Pesto uses the seasonal wild onion to make a bold pesto that my kids and I love.


Meet ramps …

IMG_2770In the bowl pictured above are some chopped ramps, a wild onion that grows in the Eastern part of the United States and Canada. Also known as a wild leek, it has a bold flavor with notes of onion and garlic. And until this past weekend, I had never had one, despite hearing raves about them. At right, you can see what they look like in their natural form.

Basically, you remove the root part and use the rest of them. Stems, leaves … it all works.

Are you familiar with ramps?

I’ve known about them for a few years, but have never been able to procure any. However recently when my Garlic Scape Carbonara recipe was featured on Saveur, I received a kind note from a new reader asking if ramps could be used in the recipe. I told him that it was possible — though I’ve never actually had ramps. He offered to send me some, and I excitedly agreed. Last week, they arrived.


Now, it’s one thing to read about the garlic-onion taste of ramps and a whole other to experience it. I sauteed a few up to get a feel for their taste and fell in love. Head over heels love. Then I whipped up a Ramp Pesto … oh my.


That night, the kids and I feasted on more sauteed ramps, Tortellini with Ramp Pesto and a Jamie Oliver recipe for braised cabbage (more on that tomorrow!). It was a delicious, decadent night. Will wasn’t a fan of the cabbage, but couldn’t get enough of the ramps — particularly the pesto.

Do you have a favorite ramp recipe? Share! I have a few more to play with and am trying to decide what to do with them.

A special thank you to reader Mark! And thank you to the Colrain, Massachusetts, farm where these were harvested. We LOVE them.

Ramps, and a Delicious Ramp Pesto
Prep time
Total time
Serves: yields about 1½ cups
  • 1 cup ramps (greens and white part), cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Add ramps, spinach, walnuts and salt to a food processor and process to a paste. Add oil and process again. Stir in Parmesan.

Category: Eating Locally, Homecooking, Gardening, Farm Fresh, Feeding Kids, Healthy Cooking, pasta, Quick and Easy Recipes, Recipes, sandwich

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a writer, editor and recipe developer who loves to create delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy together. Her work has appeared in countless publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Maine with her two food-loving kids.

Comments (5)

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  1. I have never had ramps either. Your description sounds really delicious.
    .-= The Teacher Cooks´s last blog ..Chocolate Pudding Pie and a Lesson Learned! =-.

  2. Donna says:

    Must . . . find . . . ramps!!!

    Thanks for the motivation to try these – I’ve never had them before!
    .-= Donna´s last blog ..Meatless Monday: Hip Hip Hooray for Mario Batali! – and featuring his fabulous Broccoli Rabe Pesto =-.

  3. Viktoria says:

    Never heard of ramps – thanks for telling me what they are!

  4. Kristen says:

    Thanks for telling me about ramps. Will have to try them. The pesto looks wonderful!
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..The Prepared Mama (Recipe – Turkey Black Bean Burgers) =-.

  5. Tonia says:

    Sarah – Can you believe this WV girl has never had ramps? Thanks for the great recipe – I’m going to pick up some ramps at the farmer’s market on Saturday.
    .-= Tonia´s last blog ..The Best Birthday Ever =-.

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