In Episode 3 (Part1): Foraging for Wild Ramps, my friends and I went on a forest adventure to learn a thing or two about safe and sustainable foraging for wild edibles. In this Episode, we’ll learn how to make Wild Ramp Pesto and two easy, nutritious and phenomenal dishes using this perfect pesto base: Wild Ramp Pesto with Wild Alaskan Salmon, and Wild Ramp Hummus.
What’s your favorite way to use pesto? Tell us in the comments below!
Wild Ramp Pesto
Wild ramp pesto is bursting with flavor and easy peasy! It’s slightly earthy and less tangy than the more traditional basil pesto. You’ll want to slather and toss this pesto on anything and everything: cheese and fresh bread, baked fish and chicken, pasta and cherry tomatoes, or a fine roast!(See pictures and watch the videofrom our forest forage).
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup
- Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
- Ramps – 3 cups, coarsely chopped
- Sunflower seeds – 1/4 cup
- Parmesan cheese – 1/2 cup, grated
- Lemon – 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Sea salt – 1/8 teaspoon
- Pepper – 8 turns of the pepper mill
- Extra virgin olive oil – 1/4 cup
- In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low. Add the ramps and saute them for about 2 minutes. They will immediately wilt and reduce to about 1/3 of their original volume (or 1 cup). Transfer the ramps to a food processor or blender and set it aside while you toast the sunflower seeds.
- In the same pan, toast the sunflower seeds for about 2 minutes over medium heat, or until they begin to brown and the kitchen fills with a nutty aroma.
- Add the sunflower seeds, parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the food processor. Pulse a few time to mince and mix the ingredients. Slowly add the 1/4 cup of olive oil, pulsing continuously, until the pesto is well blended and has a thick and creamy consistency.
- Store the pesto in a container and refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze (see below).
- How to Freeze Pesto:
- Freezing pesto is easy and means you always have a quick dinner or added seasoning on hand. There are two ways I like to freeze pesto.
- The first is to fill a plastic tupperware with pesto, leaving about half an inch of “headspace”, the space between the top of the container and the surface of the contents – in this case pesto. Close it with a lid and pop it in the freezer. This way makes it difficult to take out portions, since you have to defrost the entire container to soften the pesto and remove what you need. You can then pop it back into the freezer.
- The second is to fill an ice tray with pesto so that you have pesto cubes. Store the ice tray in two Ziplock freezer bags to prevent the pesto from getting freezer burn. You can pop out portion-sized cubes of pesto when you need it!