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Ramp Pesto Recipe

This recipe makes a very bright and spicy pesto, so either you'll think a little goes a long way or, if you're like me, you'll have to stop yourself from eating the whole batch straight from the bowl of the food processor. Assuming there's some left, toss it with hot pasta or quinoa, spoon it into a frittata, spread it on toast, dollop it onto fish, chicken or steak -- you get the idea.


  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 8 ounces ramps
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese


  • Place the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat and toast until lightly browned in spots, stirring or tossing in the pan occasionally, about five minutes. Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn. Let cool slightly and pour into a food processor fitted with the blade.
  • Trim any roots from the ramps and chop the bulbs, stems and leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add to food processor along with basil, spinach, salt and lemon juice.
  • Pulse until finely chopped.
  • With the machine running, pour in the olive oil and process until oil is incorporated.
  • With the machine off, stir in cheese with a spoon.
  • Use immediately or store tightly covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
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