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.
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
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!
- 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
- Place everything in a food processor and puree.