We were hiking through some beautiful, soaked fields (as is typical of New England springs) on a gorgeous warm and sunny evening. The sun was setting as our sextet, comprised of mothers and babies in carriers, trekked onward over small streams and through the dappled sunlight of the forest we came upon the beds of beautiful, vividly green ramps.
Gathering ramps is a process which requires a bit of patience, careful attention and detail. I really loved this process! Maybe it was helped by the fact that I could bend low to the ground (without a large pregnant belly in the way or post baby recovery)? Either way it felt so wonderful to be out in the woods, collecting ramps, talking about life, while 3 babies had a great space to play together and explore the leaves, sticks and dirt!
I had quite a few ramps to play with after our adventure! I decided to start simply with a pesto. I soaked, washed, and trimmed the ramps before giving them a final soak.
I chopped up the ramps (leaves included) and sauteed them in some unsalted butter.
While the ramps were sauteing, I had a small pan of walnuts toasting on the stove. I realize pine nuts are the most common pesto nut – but I used what I had on hand.
The ramps cooled off as I grated some parmesan, zested some lemon and squeezed some fresh lemon juice.
Into the bowl of the food processor it went. After the ingredients were combined I streamed in some olive oil to emulsify and create a creamy pesto! The pesto itself is very mild and delicately flavored.
I wanted to enjoy it with breakfast.
A farm egg, sliced tomato, and local Tobasi cheese were prepped, as the toast was toasting.
One careful flip of a crispy egg…and an open faced breakfast sandwich was created.
One poke of the fork…(my favorite part)
This is the most satisfying and delicious way to start the morning!
Thank you for reading, friends!
- Recipe slightly adapted from Food and Style
- 6 ounces of ramps, cleaned well and chopped (2 1/2 cups)
- 2 T. unsalted butter
- 1/2 t. lemon zest
- 2 T. toasted nuts (I used walnuts)
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 1/3 C. parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1/3 C. (or so) extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Thoroughly wash, clean and trim the ramp ends. Chop the ramps into small pieces (about 1/2").
- Heat the unsalted butter in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the ramps until the greens are wilted. Green velvety ramps! Remove the ramps from the pan and let them cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a food processor add the cooled ramps, 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and toasted nuts. Process until smooth.
- Slowly stream in the olive oil to emulsify the pesto. I used just shy of 1/3 cup. Add salt to taste.
- This fresh pesto will last 3 days in the fridge or freeze it for up to one month.