Ramps (allium tricoccum) are a North American native species of wild onion (sometimes called wild leeks, or bear leaks) with a unique garlic-like flavor. They are one of the first green leaves to emerge in the spring here. Their growing season is very short which makes them a foraged delicacy! In Northern Michigan ramps are very common because they prefer woodlands that are more shaded and wet. Here’s how to forage for them responsibly.
2 large handfuls of ramps ~8oz
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast for vegan)
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper, or to taste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half of a lemon
½ cup raw cashews
Add everything but the olive oil to the bowl of a food processor; pulse until crumbly, then start slowly adding olive oil until all ingredients have combined smoothly. Taste and add salt or pepper to your preference. Serve over pasta or zucchini noodles for a gluten-free option. Spread on toast points with tomato for a unique bruschetta. Use any way that you enjoy pesto!
Store airtight in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- Yields about 2 cups
- For longer preservation, blanch the ramps before making your pesto.
- If you don’t have cashews on hand, walnuts or pine nuts work too!