Spring offers us an abundance of edible wild greens. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where both garlic mustard and ramps grow abundantly. So, when the garlic mustard begins to flower, I go out and pick a bunch. I pluck off the flowers and use them in salad, then I steam the leaves for only a few moments, to remove some of their bitterness. For the ramps, if I can find them, I snag them on site, but if not, I buy them from the farmer’s market.
Two big bunches (about two fistfuls each) of garlic mustard greens
Two bunches (about. 12-15 ) of ramps, cleaned and roots trimmed.
One bunch of baby spinach (about a fist full)
One bunch of Arugula (about a fist full)
Half a bunch of basil (half a fist full)
One cup of pine nuts
One cup of Pecorino Romano cheese (or more to taste)
Enough olive oil to make a paste (approx. a cup).
First, steam the leaves of the garlic mustard and dry them off. Then combine all ingredients into the food processor and pulse into a paste. Add olive oil as needed to get to the right consistency.
Garlic scapes are abundant right now. I've been eating them for the past month. I put them anywhere I would use garlic - which is almost everywhere - from eggs to pizza to stir fry. They are so delicious.
I wanted to make pesto with them but regular recipes I found all ask for parmesan cheese and the Vegan recipes call for nutritional yeast.
Well, I can't eat dairy - so no parmesan cheese - and I don't have any nutritional yeast in the house. I also have trouble with anything that tries mimic cheese. It's the one thing that is extremely difficult to replicate well. So, I thought about the role that the cheese plays in a pesto. It's a fat and an acid that, in combination, rounds out the raw garlic flavor.
I decided to improvise. I chose to use avocado as the fat and lemon zest + juice as the acid. I also chose fattier nuts (macadamia and hazelnut) than the usual Pine Nut pestos.
The result turned out fabulous! I can't wait until I make bread tomorrow so I can smear some pesto all over a baguette slice.
I didn't measure so these are really just approximations, but here goes:
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor (not a Vitamix because it will liquify it, but a proper food processor) and turn it on. Blend until everything is combined and taste to make sure your flavors are balanced. Adjust/Season as needed.
The macadamia nuts really hold up to the garlic and the hazelnuts give both needed texture and slightly smoky flavor. The lemon juice adds both sweetness and acidity and the avocado gives it a creamy, delicious base.
When you store this pesto, put some cling wrap on the skin of the pesto to preserve it's bright green color, and then put the lid on your storage container. Air is the enemy of all pestos.
I'm a home cook with a lifelong passion for learning, exploring and experimenting in my kitchen. You can find me at @Debs1 on Twitter and @Debs121212 on Instagram.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies