There is little that makes me happier than to have one amazing homemade condiment in the fridge that will make throwing together easy weekday meals so much easier. What I mean with this is having a killer pesto, tapenade, mayonnaise, labneh or ajvar-yoghurt dip ready to be used, so that any sheet of roasted vegetables or toast with simple salad will be turned into an amazing and complete meal.
Admittedly, it will take you some time to prepare for example Sunday, but you will really enjoy the fruits of your labor for many days after this.
Think about this: you make a grilled chicken with some raw spinach. Perfect, but what about adding a tablespoon of this ramps pesto to your plate? Ba-boom, magic! The same goes for roasted sweet potato fries with some homemade mayonnaise? I know, perfect!
Now to this pesto: it is made with ramps, also known as daslook, baerlauch or bear’s garlic. Until I moved to Germany, I had never seen these greens in big bunches. Chances are, however, that you have already come across it in the forest. You know, this kind of garlicky smell in the air when you enter a patch of forest in spring and summer? That is ramps!
Until recently one wasn’t allowed to forage these in the Netherlands, but since this has been legalized, ramps have rapidly increased in popularity.
It kind of makes sense. These leaves have all the taste of garlic (and onion), but have none of sharp bitterness that you get when you slice up an onion or garlic clove (or smell).
I find the leaves still quite pungent and would be hestitative to add them to a salad, but in this pesto, mixed with parmesan cheese, a handful of pinenuts and a good glas of olive oil, you get something that is as good as green gold. Where traditional basil pesto can be on the sweet side, this ramps pesto is perfectly savory.
I loved eating this on toast, steak, on grilled chicken and next to roasted vegetables, especially mushrooms.
By any means: in case you come across these greens, take your chance and try it out!
- 150 grams of ramps leaves, washed and dried
- 250 milliliters of fruity, good quality olive oil (or a neutral nut oil, such as almond oil)
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 150 grams of finely ground parmesan cheese
- 50 grams of pine nuts
- Chop the ramps leaves to make it easier to make a smooth pesto out of it.
- Pulse all ingredients together in your kitchen machine or in a large bowl, using a hand blender.
- Store this in the fridge, it will stay good for around a week. This pesto also is perfect to freeze. 🙂