ramps pesto we make using the green leaves of our native edible wild leeks (Allium tricoccum). Another spring ephemeral, the leaves of the ramps start to poke up from the warming earth in April. They can be gathered for about a month and a half before they send up their flower stalk and the leaves begin to yellow and die back until next spring. We rarely dig the entire ramp, as this kills the plant and we don't use the bulb very often. The leaves are full of the funky-garlicky goodness we like, and we harvest the leaves by cutting one leaf from each cluster of 2 or 3 that each plant produces from its bulb. By taking only a few leaves from any area, we ensure the health of the ramps patch. They reproduce very slowly by splitting their underground bulbs, and digging them up as many short-sighted commercial harvesters do will destroy future sources of this delicious wild edible. Most of the recipes we come up with use the leaves, and the pesto recipe freezes well to use all year.
Find this recipe in our book.
This recipe is available in our book, available Spring 2016.