Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ramp Pesto

This isn't just an advertisement for my need to purchase a tripod, it's also a nice way to ensure that I'll being enjoying the seasonal wild leeks for an extended period of time. Also amazing is how long a pesto will keep in the fridge, particularly when topped off with a thin film of olive oil. It tastes fresh for weeks (at least). This may not be a traditional pesto, but hopefully no one will be offended.

- Ramps, cleaned
- Pecans, lightly toasted (walnuts, and of course pine nuts, would be fine substitutes)
- Parmesan cheese, cut in pieces or grated (an aged Asiago or even a Pecorino would be good too)
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper

- Bring salted water to a boil (I was making pasta anyway)
- Dip ramp leaves in boiling water for just under a minute
- Run ramps under cold water and then dry with paper towels
- Roughly chop ramps and add to a food processor with some olive oil and salt and pepper
- Process briefly, then add toasted pecans and some more olive oil
- Process for a while adding oil as you think is necessary to get a relatively smooth paste (or whatever consistency you like)
- Add cheese when the consistency is just about right (grated cheese will incorporate much easier than chunks) and process it in

When the pesto is how you like it store in a clean tightly covered jar. To use, add a dollop or two to cooked pasta (You may want to save some of the pasta water to thin out the pesto if necessary, although the pesto is pretty loose once it mingles with warm, slightly moist noodles.). You probably don't want to add too much heat to the pesto, as it's good as is.

Pictured below is the pesto on farfalle, a pasta shape I can usually do without. Still, it works great with pesto. It's alongside some mock artisanal baguette.

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