I might be the first person in the history of the internet to post two separate blogs on radish leaf pesto. Last year, I posted my recipe for radish leaf pesto pasta salad with asparagus. And here I am, posting another recipe with radish leaf pesto.
Really, the pesto on these tartines doesn’t have to be radish leaf pesto. It can be any kind of pesto you want it to be! I happened to sautée a bunch of radishes and I had all the leaves leftover. Hence, the radish leaf pesto.
But this post isn’t really about radishes leaves…it’s about ramps (otherwise known as: spring onions, wild garlic, rampson, wood leeks, or wild leeks.). For those who are unfamiliar, ramps are “a spring vegetable; a perennial wild onion with a strong garlic-like odor and a pronounced onion flavor.” I’m relatively new to the ramp world myself, but I’ve quickly come to love this spring vegetable. The ramp season is quite short – they only appear at farmer’s markets for a couple of weeks – so I make sure to get them while I can.
If you can’t get ramps in your neck of the woods, don’t fret – you can easily substitute normal garlic for ramps in this recipe. However, if you’ve not had the pleasure of eating and/or cooking ramps, I urge you to try to get your hands on some in the next couple of weeks! They’re like garlic, but milder and slightly onion-esque. They’re wonderful.
As I explained in my last post, these tartines were part of a market-inspired dinner I made for myself over the warm and summery weekend. Paired with sauteed radishes and a glass of rosé, it made for the perfect spring meal.
RAMP TARTINES WITH RICOTTA AND RAMP & RADISH LEAF PESTO
Note: As I’ve said before, pesto is really as simple nuts + greens + hard cheese. The amounts and quantities listed below can be changed to your tastes and likings. Use any green you like (parsley, cilantro, beet greens, spinach, arugula) and mix with nuts and cheese. The end.
For the pesto:
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
A handful of ramps (10-12), washed and ends/roots removed (leave the green parts in tact)
1.5 cups radish leaves (the leaves from 1 bunch of radishes), washed and patted dry
A handful of fresh basil
1/4 cup (or more) olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes
For the tartines:
Thin slices of grilled bread and/or crostini
8-10 ramps (1 per tartine)
Whole milk ricotta
Freshly ground pepper
To make the pesto (can be done ahead of time):
In a food processor or blender, blend together the pine nuts and grated cheese. Place half of the radish leaves, ramps, and basil in the food processor. Blend while drizzling olive oil over the mixture. Remove lid, and stir the mixture. Add in the rest of the greens and ramps, plus olive oil salt, pepper, and red chili flakes. Pulse until well combined, adding olive oil until desired consistency is reached. (I like my pesto rather thick, so I use less olive oil than most). Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
To assemble the tartines:
In a small pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add remaining ramps and cook over medium heat until the greens are wilted and the lower white part of the ramp is soft and starting to brown (about 6-8 minutes). Set aside.
Spread a good amount of ricotta on each slice of bread. Add a dollop of radish leaf pesto on top of the ricotta, and place one sauteed ramp atop the pesto. Season with a bit of freshly ground black pepper and enjoy!