I am not a trendy person. It’s not that I’m too cool to pay attention to trends, I just really like the sandals that my mom and I both bought at Dillard’s three years ago. They’re comfortable and they make my feet look less gangly and awkward than they actually are (yeah, I bought orthopedic old lady sandals, big deal). And I will just keep buying them in different colors and wearing them until they break. (R.I.P., white sandals. It’s all on you exact-same-style of orange sandals.) I don’t want new, different sandals and I definitely don’t want new hip sandals because who knows if I’ll still like them in, like, 4 years.
But like all crotchety old ladies, I can get on-board with some trends. Like ramps. Ramps are baby leeks and their flavor falls somewhere between scallion and full-on leek. Which means it’s onion-y and a little garlic-y, but delicate and earthy. And they’re only in season for a few weeks in the spring in the northeast, so cooks and chefs completely and totally flip out over them before they disappear for another year. I was geared-up for a ramp-fueled mob at the farmers market on Saturday. And I found a huge mob, but I was delightfully surprised to find that the mob was watching a dance parade and the farmers market was pleasantly empty.
The market was empty except, of course, for ramps on ramps on ramps. Every stall had a trough full of these little gems and the whole market was full of their bright, onion-y smell. Everyone was basking in the sunshine and buying flowers and little pots of herbs, and everyone was toting a bag with a bunch or two of ramps peeking out the top. Between the smell and the implicit peer pressure, they were impossible to resist.
I took my ramps home and made some pesto. And now I’m putting it on everything. For lunch yesterday I made a ramp pesto pasta (topped with a dollop of homemade ricotta, natch), and for dinner last night we had prosciutto sandwiches on fresh-baked focaccia (on the dough left-over from my asparagus, bacon, and ricotta pizza) with a thick smear of pesto and a little arugula salad.
For lunch this week, I’m dreaming of a grain salad with grilled chicken and roasted red peppers, tossed with a big scoop of this pesto. Or maybe a pesto pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and toasted breadcrumbs. Or maybe I’ll save it and serve it dolloped on top of a quick seared skirt steak and arugula salad for dinner this week…
Basically, I didn’t make enough pesto.
- 1 bunch ramps
- ½ cup toasted walnuts
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- In a food processor, blitz everything until smooth-ish.