Ramp Pesto

May 11, 2015

Ramp Pesto

Ramps are a garlicky version of a scallion. To make this fleeting spring veggie last a little longer, make ramp pesto for any pasta shape.

Ramps are kind of like a garlicky version of a scallion. Only in season for a short time, make this fleeting spring veggie last a little longer with ramp pesto the perfect pasta sauce for any shape.

Ramp Pesto

Every year I am guaranteed to have at least one sleepless night. And it’s not because of anything bad. I get so excited for the kickoff of outdoor farmer’s market season in Chicago that I am just too giddy to sleep.

Even though the first few weeks are pretty sparse with selection, ramps one of the most special things that appear first at the stands. They are one of the few things that are tough to find in grocery stores, which we all mistakenly think have everything, but are easier to spot at the market. They are just too delicate for the store shelves.

What Are Ramps?

An unofficial first sign of early spring, these wild onions are a relative of shallots, leeks and scallions, all part of the allium family. They have flavor that reminds me of a cross between garlic and green onions. You can eat them raw, sautéed or roasted.

In appearance, they look closest to scallions. Wild ramps are long and slender but their leaves are broad and green and they have a burgundy stem that fades into the white bulb end and hairy root.

Ramp season runs from late April to early June. I recommend using fresh ramps as soon as you can. If you do need to store them for a couple days, wrap them in damp paper towels and put them in the refrigerator.

Ramp Pesto

The Ingredients

This is what you need for this ramp pesto recipe:

  • Ramps: One bunch should include about 7. Trim them and separate the stems from the leaves.
  • Walnuts are my go-to for pesto. I like the flavor, and they are much less expensive than pine nuts.
  • Parmesan cheese: There’s no diverting from classic pesto here with this hard cheese.
  • Olive oil: High-quality extra virgin olive oil is an absolute must.
  • Lemon juice adds something bright and acidic.
  • Salt & pepper: Seasoning is important for every recipe and especially ones with so few ingredients.
Ramp Pesto

How To Make Ramp Pesto

  1. Blanch the ramp leaves in salted boiling water. Dunk them in a bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking. This preserves their bright green color.
  2. Roughly chop the ramp stems with a knife and then mince them in a food processor.
  3. Add the leaves, walnuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper and chop.
  4. Drizzle in the olive oil with the motor of the food processor running until the pesto is fully combined.
  5. Stir into your favorite pasta to serve.
Ramp Pesto

Storing The Pesto

Reach for mason jars and keep the pesto in the refrigerator up to 1 week. You can store it in the freezer up to 2 months. I recommend using ice cube trays to portion it out for simple thawing and use.


My favorite way to eat fresh pesto in general is to stir it into a large bowl of cooked pasta or grains like barley or farro. You can also whisk it into eggs or even vinaigrette for salads to add lots of garlicky flavor.

More Pesto Recipes

Traditional Basil Pesto
Roasted Broccoli Pesto
Sweet Corn Pesto
Spinach Pesto
Cilantro Pesto
Parsley Walnut Pesto
Vegan Kale Arugula Pesto

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Ramp Pesto

Ramp Pesto

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 11 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Puree
  • Cuisine: Italian


Ramps are kind of like a garlicky version of a scallion. Only in season for a short time, make this fleeting spring veggie last a little longer with ramp pesto the perfect pasta sauce for any shape.


  • 1 bunch of ramps (about 7), trimmed, stems and leaves separated
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 ounce grated Parmesan plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  • Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Blanch the ramp leaves for 30 seconds. Shock in a small bowl of ice water to stop cooking.
  • Roughly chop the stems of the ramps. Pulse in a food processor until minced. Add the ramp leaves, walnuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Puree the mixture and while the motor is running, drizzle the olive oil through the feeder tube until the pesto is fully combined.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Keywords: ramp pesto


Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating