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Cooking4/26/16
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Grilled Ramp Pesto

Whip this sought-after allium up with the usual pesto suspects

At this point in the season, it's nearly impossible to ignore the fact that ramps are here. Exaltations of the fleeting allium's arrival are echoing across the internet. Next thing you know, somewhere between the relentless Instagrams and the bursting farmers' market stands, you'll be buying a pound or two without an actual plan for them. So first things first: Make a punchy pesto.

Grilling ramps lessens their bite, as well as their tendency to be fibrous. Once warm and charred, combine them with the usual pesto suspects: toasted nuts, lots of Parmesan and just a touch of olive oil. This pesto has a thicker consistency, perfect for facing the heat of the grill one more time as a zesty marinade for shrimp. It's also ideal for mixing into pasta, topping chicken, spreading onto sandwiches—anything and everything you can fit on a plate.

Grill half a pound of trimmed and cleaned ramps with a drizzle of olive oil until wilted and caramelized, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place the grilled ramps in a food processor with a ¼ cup of toasted walnuts, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, ½ cup of grated Parmesan and salt to taste. Blitz until combined, then turn the mixer down to low and slowly pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Get more ramp-inspired recipes:
• Simple Sautéed Ramps
• Grilled Ramps and Asparagus
• Roasted Chicken with Caramelized Ramps