Close this search box.

Ramp Pesto



  • 1 ½ ounces ramp leaves, blanched for 1 minute (see Cook’s Note) 
  • 1 pound pappardelle or any dried pasta of your choice 
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped kale, arugula, or fresh basil 
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note) 
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan, plus Parmesan for topping 
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for garnishing 
  • Juice of ½ lemon 
  • ½ cup olive oil 
  • Fresh basil for topping 
  • ½ teaspoon dried sumac spice 
  • Edible flowers (such as violets) for garnishing


  1. Drain the ramps and squeeze them dry. Then coarsely chop into bite-size pieces. Set aside. 
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente, 9 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. 
  3. Meanwhile, transfer the ramps to a food processor; add the kale, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice; and pulse until finely ground. (Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle.) 
  4. Add the olive oil, a few tablespoons at a time, to the processor and continue pulsing until incorporated. Pulse (or mash) until the pesto is vibrant and glossy. 
  5. Toss the pesto with the pasta and top with basil and grated Parmesan. Garnish with the sumac, edible flowers, and additional red pepper flakes and enjoy! 

Cook’s Notes

Blanching is a technique to preserve the flavor, color, and texture of food prior to cooking. To blanch a green, or mushroom, or nut, bring a medium or large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Place the food in the boiling water. Most greens require 2 minutes in the boiling water, or 3 minutes when extra fibrous, like collard greens. Mushrooms require 3 to 5 minutes, and nuts 2 to 3 minutes. If blanching a green, the leaves should be wilted but still vibrant in color. Immediately plunge the blanched food into the ice water for about 30 seconds to stop the cooking and then drain. Toasting nuts intensifies their rich essence, creates a deeper color, and makes them crunchier. To toast nuts, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts in an even layer across a baking sheet and place in the oven until they are golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, shaking once halfway through for even toasting. Alternatively, set a pan on the stovetop over medium heat, add the nuts, and toast until golden, 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan gently every so often to avoid burning.

About the Author

Chrissy Tracey is a first-generation Jamaican American vegan chef, artist, forager, YouTuber, and entrepreneur in the food and wellness space. She is the first vegan chef to be featured on Bon Appétit’s Test Kitchen YouTube series and has been featured in the magazine. Her recipes and work have been featured in EpicuriousFarm Sanctuary MagazineVeg News, and the Vegan Review. She has also been showcased on the Bon Appétit Food People podcast and NPR’s Seasoned. Tracey was listed in Connecticut Magazine‘s 40 Under 40 and made a name for herself while working as a vegan pizza chef in New Haven, a city known all over the world for its pizza. She currently runs a Connecticut-based catering company that specializes in curating unique plant-based pop ups and private events. 

You may also like…

Peach Wineberry Sorbet from Chrissy Tracey's Forest & Forage cookbook.
This light citrusy spritz cocktail has been popping up all along the coast over the past decade, particularly in Sicily.
Purslane Salad recipe from Chrissy Tracey's cookbook, Forage & Feast