Ramp Pesto

This is not a recipe for the faint of heart. This is a recipe for those of us who have an intense craving for the first fresh green things of spring, and who want to taste those flavors in an extreme way. When I described it to a coworker, she said "things like that make me feel more alive." I concur.

Before I get to the pesto, let me tell you about the pork that went along with it. Despite the cooler than usual spring, my perennial herbs are sprouting up. I don't have tons to pick yet, but I felt OK picking a few sprigs of oregano and chives for the pork loin I was planning to cook. How pretty.

The herbs got chopped up finely with a few of the white bottoms of some ramps, and mixed with olive oil and salt.

I slathered this delightfully green paste onto the Willow Creek Farm pork roast.

I have to stop here to give some props to the meat guys at Willy Street West. Unlike the East side store, at West they take whole animals and cut them down, and they do a fantastic job. This roast was the perfect size for two of us, and it had a nice layer of fat on top that kept the meat nice and moist as it cooked.

The roast went into a 325 degree oven, and I got to work on the ramps. My objective was to taste the pure flavor of the raw ramps without any other strong flavors getting in the way, so I simply put the whole bunch of ramps into a blender (greens and all) with olive oil and salt and blended it up pesto style.

The resulting bright green sauce was intensely flavorful, like the most potent, freshest, spicy oniony garlic imaginable.

I tossed the pesto with rigatoni and we ate it alongside the moist herbed pork. My only complaint was that despite brushing my teeth numerous times afterward, I could taste the ramps for a good 24 hours after I ate .... but there are worst tastes to have in your mouth.

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1 comment:

  1. Just came across your site as I was looking up a recipe for cabbage quesadillas. Looking forward to reading more of your posts and cooking up some of the recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!


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