The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Springtime Ramps Pesto Recipe

Posted on | May 13, 2015 | Written by David Bertot | No Comments

Gourmet Magazine, where this image is from, has a great piece on ramps.

Gourmet Magazine, where this image is from, has a great piece on ramps.

Ramps are a validation that spring is here. This wild “baby leek” has a wonderful mild garlicky flavor. I like to quickly sauté and sprinkle a little salt on top, but the ramp pesto recipe is delicious and pairs very well with a variety of wines. Best known as a Genovese dish, pesto can be made with a variety of ingredients. In true Italian fashion, demand the absolute best ingredients. The ramps at the farmers’ markets right now are beautiful and will only be around for a few more weeks.

Ramp Pesto:

One bunch of ramps, about 6 or 7 ounces

Half a cup of toasted pine nuts

Half a cup of very high quality olive oil

Two thirds cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze of lemon


Blanche for one minute and rinse thoroughly in cold water

Blend toasted pine nuts and blanched ramps in food processor

Add cheese with salt and freshly ground pepper

Turn on food processor to low, then slowly drizzle olive oil until the texture is a smooth.

Add a small squeeze of lemon to brighten up.

Use this pesto for pastas. It’s also delicious spread on grilled bread.

I do love the Monastero Suore Cistercensi Coenobium 2012 from Lazio as a pairing with this pesto. This broad-shouldered, full-bodied white wine is a brilliant blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia, and Verdicchio. The winery, run by nuns and managed by Giampiero Bea, follows biodynamic practices in its viticulture. Once the grapes are crushed, the juice is fermented in concrete and aged in stainless steel. The ’12 Coenobium is complex on the nose to say the least; it’s unusual and seductive with hints of spice, honey, citrus, rosemary and a slight hint of oxidation.  It has a chewy mouthfeel full of stone fruit and subtle herbs.  Enjoy!


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