sauces and dips

Wild garlic pesto (Ramp pesto)

14 April 2020 | Last Updated: 16 September 2020

Wild garlic pesto (ramp pesto) is a flavorful twist on the classic basil pesto, but it’s made with wild garlic (ramp) leaves and almonds. It’s a delicious way to use up this plant when it’s in season (only for a short time!). It tastes really bold, so this is a real treat for garlic fans!

Wild garlic pesto (ramp pesto) in a glass, wild garlic leaves scattered around.

What is wild garlic/ramp?

Wild garlic is a plant that grows in the Eastern US and Canada and also in many European countries.

It tastes similar to fresh garlic cloves but it’s less pungent and has more subtle floral flavor. It’s also known as ramp, ramps, wild leek, Canadian garlic, Canada onion or wild onion. It’s called ramps in America and wild garlic in Europe.

The season for wild garlic is in spring, from late March to the end of May. It may not be easy to find in the stores but should be plentiful at the farmer’s markets.

Wild garlic is very popular in Austria, where I live. You can find it mostly in the woods, but I’ve seen many people harvesting it in the area that belongs to the Schönbrunn Palace!

If you want to search for it yourself, I’ve found this video on how to identify wild garlic helpful.

Ingredients:

I based this recipe on my basil pesto recipe. I needed to reduce the amount of the ‘greens’ because the wild garlic/ramp has a pungent garlic taste. So I increased the cheese and nuts ratio and omitted the fresh garlic. I also used more easily accessible almonds instead of pine nuts. The end result is pretty amazing. This pesto is very aromatic but also bold-flavored. We absolutely adore it!

Instead of almonds, you can use: pine nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.

If you’re looking for unusual pesto recipes – this celery leaf pesto may come in handy!

Wild garlic (ramp) pesto ingredients.

How to make wild garlic pesto step by step:

These step-by-step photos are showing 1/2 batch of the pesto. The main photos show the whole batch (about 1 cup), as in the recipe card.

Wild garlic pesto preparation steps.

STEP 1: Wash 2 oz (60g) wild garlic/ramp leaves in cold water and pat them dry (this will be about a handful leaves, I had 45 leaves). Add all the other ingredients, except the olive oil, to a food processor bowl (4 oz (120g) Parmesan cheese, which is 1 cup + 2 Tbsp, 4 heaped tablespoons whole almonds, which is 2 oz/60g and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest).

STEP 2: Pulse until a thick paste forms (scrape the ingredients from the sides of the bowl from time to time).

Wild garlic pesto preparation steps.

STEP 3: Add 1/2 cup of olive oil and pulse the sauce at the lowest speed until well combined or whisk in the olive oil by hand.

STEP 4: Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add more olive oil if you want thinner consistency of your pesto.

Enjoy!

Note: Adjust the taste of this pesto to your liking, especially if you haven’t weighed everything on the scale. If the flavor is too garlicky and pungent for you, you can add more of the other ingredients: nuts, cheese, and olive oil.

Wild garlic pesto uses:

You can use this sauce the same way you would use basil pesto.

It’s perfect as a pasta sauce, I actually used it to make this shrimp zucchini pasta with pesto and it was really good.
You can also scoop it on salads, pizza, sandwich or panini. Its uses are countless!

You can find more ramps uses in this article on wild garlic/ramps uses.

Storing and freezing:

The wild garlic pesto will keep up in the fridge for up to 3 days (stored in a tightly closed container or tightly covered with plastic foil). If you want to keep it longer, pour a small layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. This way you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

Pesto freezes very well.

Close up picture of wild garlic pesto (ramp pesto) in a glass.

Wild garlic pesto (Ramp pesto)

Flavorful twist on classic pesto, with wild garlic/ramp leaves and almonds. It’s a delicious way to use up this plant when it’s in season.
pesto z czosnku niedzwiedziego
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1574kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 2 oz (60g) wild garlic/ramp 45 leaves / a handful
  • 4 oz (120g) Parmesan cheese 1 cup + 2 Tbsp
  • 4 heaped tablespoons whole almonds 2 oz/60g
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 8 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Wash the wild garlic leaves in cold water and pat them dry.
  • Add all the ingredients, except the olive oil, to a food processor bowl. Pulse until a thick paste forms (scrape the ingredients from the sides of the bowl from time to time).
  • Add the olive oil and pulse the sauce at the lowest speed until well combined or whisk in the olive oil by hand.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add more olive oil if you want thinner consistency of your pesto.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Adjust the taste of this pesto to your liking, especially if you haven’t weighed everything on the scale. If the flavor is too garlicky and pungent for you, you can add more of the other ingredients: nuts, cheese, and olive oil.
  • Instead of almonds, you can use: pine nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
  • Storage and freezing: The wild garlic pesto will keep up in the fridge for up to 3 days (stored in a tightly closed container or tightly covered with plastic foil). If you want to keep it longer, pour a small layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. This way you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Pesto freezes very well.
  • Wild garlic pesto uses: You can use this sauce the same way you would use basil pesto. It’s perfect as a pasta sauce. You can also scoop it on salads, pizza, sandwich or panini.
Course condiment, sauce
Cuisine international
Keyword ramp pesto recipe, wild garlic pesto

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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