With spring comes a season for foraging. The other day my husband, Paul, and I went for a walk and came upon a woodland field full of ramps. In case you are not familiar, ramps are the equivalent of wild leeks. They grow in large masses in early springwoods. When I see ramps I feel a tingle of hope, realizing that life has again been reborn.
The moment Paul and I crawled under the fence into the woods my nose started to wrinkle.
“I think a skunk must have just been here.” I said. “What’s that smell?”
Paul knew better. “Those are the ramps.”
“But I never smelled them before. Why now?”
“It must be a bigger patch,” he answered nonchalantly. His head was aimed at the top of the hill, trowel and plastic bag in hand. I followed.
We kneeled down on the damp earth, and dug a few patches.
“Let’s get enough for a few ramps quiches and some ramps pesto,” I urged. I had just come across a really easy recipe and my mouth was already watering at the thought of pasta pesto with ramps. Here it is:
2 bunches ramps, washed, trimmed and chopped in ½” sizes
¼ cup parsley (optional)
¼ cup raw cashews (or pine nuts)
¼ cup grated parmesan or Asiago cheese
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (more if needed)
salt & pepper to taste.
Mix all together in the food processor until it reaches a granular puree. Add more olive oil if necessary.
Store in fridge.
Makes about 1 cup.
We made pesto that night and put it on some gluten-free pasta. It was delicious. I’m still savoring the taste. Warning: Within a day after, I also smell it when I sweat! Happy foraging…
What is your favorite food to forage for?