Sunday, May 15, 2011

The last ramps of the season

As soon as ramps hit the farmers markets, people go wild! Ramps are wild leeks that make a brief appearance in the spring. Due to the high demand and short season, they don't come cheaply. I'm embarrassed to even say how much I paid for these, but I like supporting the local farmer vs. Whole Paycheck. 

I prepared the ramps two different ways: per Babbo's website and a pesto that I threw together.

For the spaghetti with ramps, I recommend toasting the bread crumbs in the same pan used to cook the ramps. Top the plated pasta with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 

Ramp pesto is lovely with pasta or eggs. Here, I've spread it over a smear of goat cheese on a toasted foccacia thin.

Ramp pesto: 
bunch of ramps
handful of walnuts, toasted
handful of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/3 to 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil

1. Clean and rough chop the ramps
2. Combine everything except for the olive oil in your food processor and pulse until nearly homogenous
3. Slowly stream in the olive oil as the food processor is running until you reach your desired consistency. 
4. Serve with pasta or eggs for breakfast

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