Ramp Garlic Bread with Ramp Pesto

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Ramp pesto and fresh mozzarella make the most ultimate ramp garlic bread. Full disclosure, because ramps have such beautiful and special garlic and onion flavor, this recipe doesn’t actually call for any garlic cloves. The broiler works its magic toasting the bread and melting the cheese in minutes.

For more of this spring ingredient, try Ramp Pesto Pasta too.

Detail image of cheesy garlic bread.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

The flavor is incredible. I will never say no to garlic bread, but a lot of times it’s just garlic and that’s it. Ramps have this balance of garlic and onion taste that make this garlic bread, so much more interesting and exciting.

This garlic bread has the perfect texture—crusty on the edges and soft in the middle. This isn’t garlic toast. You don’t want it to be crunchy all the way through. By using sliced bread that’s not too thick, you get just the right amount of bread to garlic to cheese.

You can freeze it. When you’re not cooking for a crowd, you may not have the need to make an entire batch of garlic bread. Don’t worry, you can freeze the slices you don’t eat, and warm them in the oven as needed.

What are Ramps?

These wild onions are related to shallots, leeks and scallions and are part of the allium family. They appear in early spring. I like to think of them as a preview to all the wonderful veggies to come as the weather slowly warms up.

They are wonderfully garlicky with light onion flavor. You can eat them raw, sautéed or roasted. They are fully edible from leaves to stalk. Just trim off the root ends.

Wild ramps are long and slender and similar in appearance to scallions. However, their leaves are wide, and smooth. The root end is white in color, and then as it goes up and closer to the leaves, it turns to a burgundy or purple color. Even before you cut them, you can smell their onion-garlic aroma.

Ramps appear from late April to early June. They are very delicate. You are more likely to find them at a farmers market than a grocery store. Since their availability is limited, when you see them, you should buy one bunch (at least).

How To Clean Ramps

Start by rinsing off your ramps with cold water. If they still have dirt and grit on them, you can submerge them in a bowl of cold water and slosh them around. They tend to be dirtier on the bulb end at the root. Just remember to be very gentle.

How To Store Ramps

Try to use fresh ramps as soon as you can. Do not wash them until you are ready to use them.  Wrap a damp paper towel around the root end and put them in an airtight container or a bag inthe fridge. But try to use them in 2-3 days—at most.

The Ingredients

Ingredients including bread, ramps, mozzarella, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan, chives, salt and pepper

This is what you need:

  • Bread: The quality of the bread is important. You want something artisanal with a nice crust. You can go with a plain country style loaf or try sourdough garlic bread for a little extra tang.
  • Mozzarella: Slices of fresh mozzarella melt under the broiler and are so good on this cheesy garlic bread.
  • Ramps: You will need one bunch, which will be about 8-10 ramps. After washing them, trim the root ends and separate the green leaves from the stems. Then roughly chop the stems.
  • Walnuts: For flavor and cost, walnuts are a great choice for this pesto garlic bread spread. They are much less expensive than pine nuts.
  • Parmesan: I use this Italian cheese in the pesto.
  • Olive oil: For the best flavor, use high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Lemon juice is subtle, but it adds something acidic, which is really good with the richness of the melted mozzarella.
  • Chives: To add more oniony flavor, I sprinkle the garlic bread with minced chives.
  • Salt & pepper season the pesto.

How To Make Ramp Garlic Bread

Preheat the broiler on high. The oven rack should be about 4-6 inches from the heating element.

1. Combine the ramp stems & leaves, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Finely chop these ingredients.

2. Drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running until the pesto is pureed.

Ingredients for ramp pesto in a food processor before and after they are pureed.

3. Place the bread on 2 sheet pans. Drizzle the slices with olive oil, spread with ramp pesto and top with mozzarella slices.

4. Toast the bread and melt the cheese under the broiler. Then spread on more pesto and finish with chopped chives.

Garlic bread on a sheet pan before and after it is broiled.

Make Ahead Tips & Storage

You can make the pesto up to 4 days in advance. Store it in a jar in the refrigerator. I recommend letting it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, so the olive oil has a chance to liquefy again assuming it has become solid in the chill of the fridge.

You can freeze baked garlic bread. Just let it cool to room temperature. Then put the slices on a lined sheet pan to freeze. Once they are solid, then you can put them in the same container. Or wrap each piece in wax paper to keep them from sticking together and freeze them in a bag all at once.

To thaw frozen garlic bread, bake in a 400-degree F oven for 6-7 minutes.

Recipe Tips

Keep an eye on the bread when it is under the broiler. You might need to rotate the pan or move it around depending where the heating element is in your oven.

If you can’t find ramps, you can substitute with store-bought or homemade basil pesto. Classic pesto garlic bread will turn out fantastic too.

For people who love cheese, you can increase the amount of fresh mozzarella. If want your garlic bread really cheesy, then add more cheese to cover each slice of bread.


Do you have to use mozzarella?

You can skip the melted cheese if you prefer a lighter version of garlic bread.

What if I can’t find ramps?

Use basil pesto. This is still such an easy way to make fantastic garlic bread.

How do you reheat frozen garlic bread?

If it is frozen in slices, put them on a baking sheet and warm them for 6-7 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees F.

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Ramp Garlic Bread Recipe

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 4 minutes
Total: 14 minutes
Servings: 10
This version of garlic bread uses ramps to make an oniony and garlicky pesto spread. And it has melted fresh mozzarella.


  • 1 bunch ramps about 8-10, roots trimmed, leaves and stems separated with stems roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 ounce grated Parmesan about 1/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling bread
  • 1 loaf country bread or sourdough bread sliced (about 1 pound)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives


  • Preheat the broiler on high with a rack 4-6 inches from the heating element.
  • In a food processor, combine the ramp leaves and stems, walnuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process them until they are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is fully combined.
  • Arrange the bread across 2 sheet pans. The slices should not overlap. Drizzle them with olive oil.
  • Spread the ramp pesto on the bread and top with sliced mozzarella.
  • Broil the bread until it is toasted and the cheese has melted, about 3-4 minutes. Rotate the pan as necessary to toast the bread evenly.
  • Spread more pesto on the garlic bread and sprinkle with minced chives before serving. It is best eaten warm.



Thinly slice the mozzarella and then tear those slices as needed to best fit the shape of your bread. If you like cheese, you can add more than the recipe calls for.
You can make the pesto up to 4 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then let it sit at room temperature before using it.
To freeze baked garlic bread, first let it cool to room temperature. Arrange the slices on a lined sheet pan. Freeze them and then put them in a bag. To freeze all the bread at once in the same container, you will need to wrap individual pieces in wax paper, so they do not stick together. Thaw frozen bread at 400 degrees F for 6-7 minutes. You can keep frozen garlic bread up to 1 month.


Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 499mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Did you make this recipe?Mention @lastingredient on Instagram and tag it #lastingredient!

Recipe originally published May 7, 2018. Updated: April 24, 2023.

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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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