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Wild Leek (aka Ramp) Pesto

Wild Leek (aka Ramp) Pesto

Having recently discovered wild leeks, also known as ramps, I was looking for recipes for dishes to enjoy them in. The one recipe that I kept coming across was a wild leek and shallot pesto. Since wild leeks have a taste somewhere between garlic and onions I was thinking that combining the ramps with the shallots might be a bit of an overkill but I liked the idea of a wild leek pesto. I decided to start with a basic basil pesto and I replaced half of the basil with both the bulbs and the leaves of the wild leeks. As most pestos are, this one was quick and easy to make. I always like to try new pestos out in a basic pasta dish with just the pesto and the pasta and that is what I did this time. I quite enjoyed the wild leek pesto and if you like garlic and onions like I do then you will too.

Wild Leek (aka Ramp) Pesto on Spaghetti

I still had enough pesto left over to make a second pasta and this time, on a whim, I decided to add some asparagus which I had a lot of. The juicy and almost sweet asparagus balanced out the the strength of the wild leek pesto really nicely creating a much more well rounded dish. I look forward to picking up some more wild leeks to enjoy while they are in season.

Wild Leek (aka Ramp) Pesto on Penne with Asparagus

Wild Leek (aka Ramp) Pesto

Ramps or wild leeks, are one of the first signs of springs fresh produce and what better way to enjoy them than in a pesto that stars them!


Servings: makes 1 cup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup ramps (aka wild leeks), roots trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
Directions
  1. Place everything in a food processor and puree.

Use in:
Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Mac n Cheese
Ramp Pesto Omelette with Asparagus and Goat Cheese

Similar Recipes:
Fresh Pea and Mint Pesto
Asparagus Pesto on Penne
Fava Bean Pesto on Fettuccine
Garlic Scape Pesto on Fusilli with Garlic Scape Garlic Bread
Meyer Lemon Pesto and Feta Pasta with Shrimp
Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Pasta

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup on Got No Milk.

47 comments:

Diana said...

I am so excited about this recipe! What a great idea to use ramps/leeks in a pesto! And I love that you reduced the oil down so much. Can't wait to try it! :)

MaryBeth said...

I simply love the colors in this dish and OMG... the items you have mixed together sound fabulous!!!

Mary said...

I love to have as many recipes as possible for ramps. The season is sooo short. This looks really good Kevin.

cooknkate said...

Delicious.....I love leeks!!

Sara said...

Mmmm, this looks SO delicious! I definitely need to look for ramps at the next farmer's market. :)

Ninette said...

Ok, Kevin, who eats all this food you cook? You are prolific in your dishes!

Christina said...

Mmm this looks like comfort food to me right now!

Love the extra crunch you added with the toasted pine nuts - nice touch!

Esi said...

My farmers market doesn't carry ramps, but I am hoping to make it to another one that does. I am dying to try them!

Jenn Sutherland said...

WOW - That looks amazing - I just picked up some ramps this afternoon at the farmstand, and I think I'll be making some pesto tomorrow night!

Helene said...

Did not know what Wild Leeks were so I did a search. Sounds like a great onion. I should look for that in store. Great dish!

Treehouse Chef said...

This looks so beautiful and delicious! I love the toasted pine nuts!

Dana said...

What a lovely dish. I was sad to learn that ramps don't grow in our part of the world (Pacific NW) so I can't try any of the enticing recipes floating around right now. Bummer!

jenncuisine said...

I love ramp pesto! This dish looks amazingly yummy :)

Lo said...

I love ramps... all the more since their season is so short! Pesto is always a great way to use up a stash of them. *yum* Your version looks excellent.

Liane said...

Help! I really need to cook for vegetarians on Sunday and am at a loss for a menu..... if you have any great ideas I would love for you to share! This looks yummy!

Katrina said...

That looks delicious, Kevin. (I feel like I say that on all your posts.) Mmm!

Julie said...

I'm gonna have to find some of these ramps I keep hearing about! The pesto looks super.

Cookin' Canuck said...

Hmm, I have leftover leeks in my fridge. I'm going to give this a shot! It looks so tasty.

annie said...

this looks so simple and delicious! like everyone else, I am dying to try ramps - I'm on a mission to find some!

Homecooked said...

Wow...have to look out for wild leeks. It looks really good!

Peter M said...

Aren't the wild leeks/ramps so delish? Glad you liked them - let's hope they can be found for a couple of more weeks!

Shreya said...

this is new to me-leek pesto.but the pasta looks so good:-)

Sophie said...

MMMMM...Kevin: leek pesto: why haven't I thought about that before,....???? Looks lovely!

Ruth Daniels said...

Kevin, I was just in Toronto for a visit and thanks to a great cousin, I now have the recent LCBO Food & Drink and they have a similar wild leek pesto that I was going to try (now I just need to find some ramp here in Halifax), but I must say, I like your recipe even better.

Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

kitchenetta said...

I must look for ramps in the local market, because this is a must try recipe. Thanks for submitting to the next edition of PPN!

Jan said...

That looks really good!

Debbie said...

Once again...a knock out dish and presentation!!!!

Joanne said...

I love pesto of any kind, but especially trying new ones that veer away from the traditional basil. I still haven't seen any ramps but you've given me more incentive to be on the lookout!

Marta said...

I want to have your dinners! Invite me over next time you make this tasty pasta :)

Katie said...

Yum this looks great!

Sara @ Our Best Bites said...

I don't really ever cook with leeks, I'll have to give it a try.

oneshotbeyond said...

we can't go wrong with Pasta like this on the menu...nice job!

Maria said...

I love leeks but don't get around to using them. What is wrong with me? this pasta dish looks fabulous!

Lisa said...

Great idea to make a leek pesto. Very creative. Love your images.

Tessa said...

Yum this really looks great! Your photos are always so beautiful.

duodishes.com said...

Mmmm pesto! Can't get enough.

ttfn300 said...

sounds perfect! ramps are yummy :)

zerrin said...

I love the idea to use leek with pasta. I enjoy trying new sauce with pasta, and I'm sure I'll be quite happy with the result when I try this one.

Paula said...

Your food is always plated so pretty, Kevin! I'll have to keep an eye out for ramps! YUM!

Kerstin said...

What a great idea! I've never had ramps, but I do love leeks - looks fantastic!

Cathy said...

I see ramps in the market but I've never cooked with them. You've inspired me.

Christie's Corner said...

I haven't cooked with ramps before and see them is so many seasonal recipes these days. I simply must got to the farmers' market and pick some up. I love the idea of using them in a pesto.

The Food Hunter said...

This looks great. I'll have to give it a try. thanks

lisa (dandysugar) said...

What a great recipe! I love leeks and will have to try ramps!

Magic of Spice said...

Sounds amazing!

Cinnamonbark said...

holywow! I'd never thought of using Leeks! Coolness, I am *so* trying this. I'll post back with some feedback when I do. Everything on your site looks wondrous!

Alaskan Odyssey said...

I made this with the ramps I found in the sugarbush down the road and I must say! It was hard not to just sit down and eat just the pesto. Great recipe, thank you!

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