Recipe and photos by Raisa Aziz, EdibleDC contributor
Spring is here! The market is filled with greens and pinks and light yellows. I can smell lilac and a hint of spring onions as I walk through the stalls. It's pretty joyous after months of bundling up and eating root vegetables at every meal.
It's also time for ramps. Somewhere between a leek and spring garlic, ramps have a fairly short season and are usually hand foraged, so it's best to enjoy them while you can. Ramps have a unique strong oniony garlicky flavor making them an excellent base for pesto.
My recipe for ramp pesto is light on the garlic and heavier on the lemon, perfect for a perfect spring pasta or on a pizza or flatbread. Pesto can also be frozen, so it's a great way to save the flavor of ramp season for later.
Spring Ramp Pesto
One bunch ramps, loosely chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup unsalted cashews 1/2 cup pine nuts 1/4 cup parmesan cheese 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 lemon, squeezed 1 clove garlic Salt and pepper, to taste
Toast nuts in a saucepan on medium heat, moving frequently, for about 2-4 minutes until lightly golden. Set aside. Place nuts, olive oil, cheese, ramps, lemon juice and garlic into a food processor. Pulse in bursts until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to move the mixture around a few times so there are no big chunks in your pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste and pulse once more. Spoon pesto into a jar with a tight lid. Add a thin layer of olive oil to the top to prevent browning. Refrigerate and use within a week. You can also freeze the pesto in an air-tight container.
Raisa Aziz (@raisaaziz) is a food stylist, photographer and writer in the DC area. When not cooking, baking or eating, you can find her bopping about town in search of local adventures.