Maybe it's the Irish in me but I love potatoes and maybe it's the Italian man I married but I also love pesto so when Food52 (recipe here) delivered Jose Pizarro's salt-crusted potatoes to my email in-box, I knew what I was making for dinner. Some of the ramps I harvested with Ellen (read about it here) were still in the fridge and I thought they would be perfect, re-purposed as pesto, with my salty, little potatoes.
It took me a couple of attempts to get the pesto 'right'— straight ramp pesto is a formidable beast. I don't think I've ever eaten something that strong before, my breath could have melted steel or at least repelled every mosquito in Bayfield county. I knew I needed to temper the beast while maintaining the distinctive wild onion/garlic flavor of a ramp fresh from the forest floor. I settled on spinach, basil and sun-dried tomatoes and it was exactly what those wild ramps needed to become a bit more civilized.
Wild Ramp Pesto
10 - 12 ramps, roots removed and washed
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup oil cured sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. kosher salt
Add all ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor. Turn processor on and slowly add oil. Once added, stop the processor and scrape sides to make sure all ingredients get incorporated. The pesto freezes well (in an airtight container). Makes about 2 cups.