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Orzo with Ramp Pesto

This Orzo with Ramp Pesto is the perfect Spring recipe and can be enjoyed as a main dish but would be splendid to take to a family bbq or picnic as well!

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RAMP SEASON IS HERE! May is in full swing here and I am beyond excited about it. There is so much colour bursting forth and the smell from all the flowering trees and bushes almost brings tears to my eyes. May is quickly becoming my favourite month of the year right next to October. KK, back to why we are here. Ramps aka WILD GARLIC are in season. If you have never seen a ramp they resemble a green onion except the green part is more leafy and tender. The entire alium is edible (part of the onion family) and tastes like sweet mild garlic. They are absolutely glorious and are only in season right NOW.

I have been making ramp pesto recipes like it’s going out of style and can’t wait for you to try them. Pesto is one of my favourite ways to eat ramps because the pesto lasts for days helping to extend the life of them. I add more herbs to the mix with lots of lemon, walnuts and nutritional yeast. It is delicious, healthy and incredibly versatile. 

Where to find Ramps?

Well, if you’re lucky you can forage your own but if you’re like me you will find them in your specialty grocery store or at your local market. I am currently feasting on everything that is in season; asparagus, rhubarb and ramps. My little terrace garden is planted and I am thoroughly enjoying watching the wee sprouts crest the soil. Yes, Spring is HERE!!!

TERI ANN CARTY

Food Photographer and Recipe Developer based in Toronto, Canada. 

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Orzo with Ramp Pesto

Teri-Ann Carty
This Orzo with Ramp Pesto is the perfect Spring recipe and can be enjoyed as a main dish but would be splendid to take to a family bbq or picnic as well!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Servings 4 -6

Equipment

  • large pot
  • food processor or blender
  • oven

Ingredients
  

ORZO INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small bag orzo
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch pinch of chili flakes
  • ½ block tofu (pressed and dried)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, pinch salt, cracked pepper
  • ½ onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 7 asparagus spears (trimmed and cut in 1"pieces)
  • ½ zucchini (diced)
  • 1 cup edamame
  • Handful pea shoots
  • ¾-1 cup ramp pesto (recipe included)
  • sea salt and cracked pepper

RAMP PESTO INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch ramps (cleaned and trimmed)
  • 4 cups mixed mint and cilantro
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • ½ tsp sea salt and cracked pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions
 

ORZO INSTRUCTIONS

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt liberally and cook orzo according to the package.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 convection. Cube tofu and toss with olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan with chili flakes. Add onion and cook for several minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more before adding asparagus. Saute asparagus for 2-3 minutes before adding zucchini and edamame. Season with salt and cracked pepper.
  • Add in cooked tofu, pea shoots and cooked orzo. toss to combine before adding in pesto. Start with 1/2 cup of pesto, toss and add more if desired. Mix well.
  • Check for seasoning. Serve with lemon wedges and a hit of chili flakes (optional).

RAMP PESTO INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut ramps into 1" pieces. Place into a food processor with fresh herbs.
  • Add remaining ingredients except for olive oil. Pulse several times to get things moving and then slowly start to add olive oil through the chute with the machine whirling.
  • Add more oil if the pesto seems dry. Taste for seasoning and add to a glass jar sealed with a lid. Alternatively you could freeze the pesto for a later use.
  • Add to rice, pasta, toast or wherever you like!
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, orzo, pasta, pesto, plant based, vegan

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