Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Let's Have a Picnic!

We've been enjoying an early warm streak here in 
upstate NY, which has inspired me to (finally) finish 
this cheerful "S" Block quilt. 
It's just begging for a picnic, don't you think? 
Today, I'm sharing my recipe for a special springtime treat,
perfect for the picnic basket or the dinner table, 
Wild Ramps Pesto. 
Below, I share ways to incorporate it into your next meal
The recipe makes enough to freeze or share (above). 
Be forewarned, this savory pesto is powerful - 
a little goes a long way!

If you're unfamiliar with ramps, they're
wild-growing and of the lily family. You'll find them 
in the woods throughout the Northeast and 
as far south and west as VA and OH.
Their potent flavor is a cross between leeks and garlic,
and their foraging season is about six weeks.
If you forage for the first time, please review some videos 
on YouTube so that you're confident in what you're looking for.
So, if you're lucky enough to get your hands on some ramps, 
here's my little recipe. Adjust to suit your taste.

Ramps Pesto

1 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
4 modest bunches of ramps*, cleaned and rough chopped
Pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt

Place these 4 ingredients in the food processor and 
give them a few whirrs.

Then, with the machine steadily running, slowly drizzle in 
about 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
until the mixture is as thin or thick as you like.
Fill approximately 3 pint sized mason jars.

* This recipe considers about 13-14 ramps to be a modest bunch.
It can be frozen and will keep in the fridge for a few months.

Now, think pasta with sauteed mushrooms, onions and peas 
finished with a swirl of this savory pesto, 
or add a small dollop on your cheesy veggie omelet.
Try a generous spoonful stirred into a pot of buttery mashed potatoes.
Work a few spoonfuls into your biscuit dough....sigh.
Schmeer a bit onto a cracker. Top with your favorite cheese. Repeat.

If you make Wild Ramps Pesto, I'd love to hear how you use it! 

I'm smitten with this super fun "S" Block quilt!
The mere thought of being wrapped in all that color 
makes me happy. 
No picnic? Just add puffy clouds and a good book.

Many of the fabrics are from 
Lizzy House's Castle Peeps collection by Andover.
Thankfully, my towering scrap pile afforded me plenty of additional 
fabrics to ensure that no two alike touch each other.  

The "S" Block is a great beginner block.
It's a decent scrap buster if you have plenty of wider strips on hand.
For quilting, I stitched in the ditch of every block, stitching giant S's,
 and then in the ditch between the blue and the green borders.
I tossed it in the washer and dryer, and ta-da, 
there's that lovely crumpled-worn-and-loved look I'm so fond of!

Now, I'm off to pull together fabrics for my next two Project Linus quilts:


Thanks to everyone who voted on Facebook and here on the blog!
(quilt patterns by


  1. Your quilt is absolutely delightful - and oh so perfect for a spring day! I just love the colors!

    Now I can share publicly my "ramp" story!

    Last year, Silver Trumpet generously shared some of her hand-picked ramps with me. Nothing new there! Well, I decided to add them to a dip that I was preparing for my upcoming book group. I am a seriously "do ahead" person when it comes to entertaining (I do wish that this trait would spread to other facets of my life, but alas, it has not). Anyhow, I sautéed the ramps in the morning and tucked them into the fridge to incorporate into the dip later in the day. My husband, being the "tidier" that he is, rifled through the refrigerator, looking for things that needed to be tossed. You guessed it - out went the sautéed ramps! I believe that I substituted onions in the recipe, but have always wondered how the ramps would have been!

    Oh well - I have no doubt that Silver Trumpet will be her ever generous self, and I will get the opportunity to try again!

    Thanks Super T.!

  2. With such a short growing season, they've already turned yellow in the woods, but hopefully the ramps pesto will be a nice treat to see you through until next year. Try, try again!