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Ramps and Spinach Pesto Recipe

This delicious dish is packed with antioxidants, including skin-friendly vitamin C for a gorgeous complexion.

Courtesy of Peppergrasss/Flickr (CC Licensed)
Ramps and Spinach Pesto Recipe

Spring is upon us, and it’s a joy to leave the house again and get outside. The passing of the vernal equinox means fresh springtime ramps will soon be budding and ready for the picking. Ramps first appear in late March and by May the season is over in the colder, far northern climates. I know I’m being eager, but after this unrelenting winter I’m ready for fresh seasonal greens that renew our skin and bodies while satisfying our culinary desires.

Fresh ramps are like onions, garlic and leeks; their bold flavor adds excitement to any recipe no matter how you use them. Because the season is short, be sure to give this culinary pleasure a try. Use the bulbs like you would leek or green onions, and the leaves are fabulous mixed with other greens in salads, tossed with pasta, whole grains and even in salsa. 

Delicious Nutrition
Ramps contain 30 percent of recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin A, which is good for healthy skin; 20 percent of the RDA for vitamin C, which helps make collagen; and folate to help create new cells—all of which helps gobble up free radicals preventing inflammation and oxidative skin damage, while helping to improve our skin.

In this pesto recipe, ramps pair perfectly with spinach, parsley and green beans, which load the dish with even more high-octane sources of vitamin C and other antioxidants, calcium, carotenes, folate and potassium. Combined with omega-3-rich toasted walnuts and sweet pecans, this pesto recipe not only tastes great but may be great for your looks too!

Ramps and Spinach Pesto Recipe

Makes 8 ½-cup servings

Ingredients:
¼ cup fresh ramp leaves
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup fresh spinach leaves
2 ounces pecans, toasted and chopped
2 ounces walnuts, toasted and chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh garlic, fine chopped
4 cups cooked green beans, drained well, cut into ½-inch length

Directions:
Put ramp leaves, basil, parsley, spinach, pecans, walnuts and salt in food processor and mix until it’s a coarse puree. Combine oil and garlic, add to mixture and mix until well incorporated. Combine cooked green beans with the mixture and toss.

Spring is here and summer is around the corner. “Ramp” it up and enjoy some of the most nutrient-dense superheroes of the plant world. Your skin will be glad you did!

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