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Ingredient Profile: Ramps

Ingredient Profile: Ramps

For a brief period every spring, it is officially ramps season! New York has had some brutal cold weather this year and seeing ramps is a great sign that spring has finally arrived.

Ramps are wild leeks; their flavors are reminiscent of onion and garlic. Not only will these guys provide you with a burst of flavor, these leaves pack a nutritional punch.  They are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, selenium and chromium. Here are some recipes that use the leaves from these super-seasonal greens. At farmer’s markets, you may also find the bulbs which are amazing when sautéed and it can be used like garlic or scallions.  Next time you are in your neighborhood farmers market give ramp a try!

Ramp Pesto with Roasted Cauliflower

makes about 4 servings

Roasted Cauliflower
1 small head of cauliflower 
1 tbsp olive oil
⅛ tsp of salt

Ramp Pesto 
½ lb ramp leaves
¾ cup nutritional yeast
⅓ cup pine nuts
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cup olive oil
¼ tsp of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Chop up cauliflower into small florets.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Once oven is preheated, add cauliflower florets onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cook for 30 minutes, flipping the florets midway.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, add the ramp leaves, nutritional yeast, pine nuts, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Pulse mixture until it forms a puree.  Slowly pulse in olive oil, until it fully combine.

**** If you have ramp bulbs, you can chopped them up and sauteed in a skillet for 5-10 minutes and then added into your food processor.  They will add additional flavor. ****

To serve:

Add 1 cup roasted cauliflower with 1 tbsp of ramp pesto in skillet and mix until cauliflower florets are all coated. Optional: garnish with broccoli rabe flowers.

The leftover ramp pesto is extremely versatile and can be used like a sauce, spread, or even a dip.  You can spread it on a piece of toast, sauté it with your vegetables, add it to pasta...the possibilities are endless.

Nutritional Information per serving of Cauliflower with Pesto:
Calories: 110kcal
Fat: 8g
Saturated fat: 1g
Sodium: 100mg
Potassium: 430mg
Carbs: 8g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 4g

Nutritional Information per serving of 1 tbsp Ramp Pesto:
Calories: 45kcal
Fat: 4g
Saturated fat: 0g
Sodium: 20mg
Potassium: 30mg
Carbs: 2g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 1g

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