Recipes Sides:

Grilled Zucchini Flatbread With Ramp-Pistachio Pesto

Recipe from Cook Beautiful. Images by Johnny Miller

The appearance of ramps at the farmer’s market is often the first sign that spring has sprung. And thanks in part to their short season, from late April until very early June, they tend to set off a bit of a culinary frenzy. The trendiest veggie since kale, this green queen is actually a long, wild spring onion—and, in terms of flavor, it packs a deliciously garlicky punch. I try to make the most of ramps while they’re around, using them in everything from frittatas to pestos—including this one, which I love to slather on my homemade flatbread. Brightened by lemon and mellowed a bit by rich, crunchy pistachios, it’s just the right foil for sweet and smoky charred zucchini.

The trendiest veggie since kale, this green queen is actually a long, wild spring onion—and, in terms of flavor, it packs a deliciously garlicky punch.

Serves 6 – 8.

Ingredients:

FOR THE PESTO
12 ounces (340 g) ramps
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼cup (25 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¾cup (180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1½teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½cup (65 g) unsalted pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped, divided

FOR THE ZUCCHINI
2 medium zucchini, cut on a bias into
½-inch (12-mm) slices
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
½teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

FOR SERVING
Grilled flatbread
1 handful fresh mint, finely chopped
1 handful sunflower sprouts, stem strimmed
Flaky sea salt

Method:

Make the pesto:

Trim the roots from the ramps and pull off the thin membrane that covers the bulb. Rinse thoroughly under cold water. Cut the leafy green tops from the bulbs and set aside.

Bring a small saucepan of salted water up to a simmer over medium-low heat. While the water heats, prepare an ice bath and have it ready by the stove. Add the ramp greens to the saucepan and cook for 30 seconds. Using tongs, remove the greens and plunge them into the ice bath. Once they’ve cooled, drain them thoroughly.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the ramp bulbs and sauté for
about 2 minutes or until softened, being careful not to let them brown.

Transfer the ramp greens, bulbs, cheese, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Add ¼ cup (32 g) of the pistachios. Pulse until a smooth pesto forms. You should have about 2 ⅓ cups (555 ml) but will only use about half for the flatbread. The remaining pesto can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for 3 days. To help maintain its color, drizzle it with a little olive oil or place a piece of plastic wrap directly on its surface. You can spread the leftover pesto on a sandwich, stir it into pasta, or use it as a dip.

Make the zucchini:

Preheat the grill over medium-high heat to about 400ºF (205ºC). Drizzle the zucchini with oil. Sprinkle with paprika and season generously with salt and pepper, tossing until the zucchini is evenly coated. Grill until the zucchini is cooked through and lightly charred on both sides, about 8 minutes total.

Spread the pesto over a grilled flatbread, leaving a ½ inch (12-mm) border around the edges. Top with the zucchini, mint, sunflower sprouts, and remaining ¼ cup (32 g) pistachios. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Swoon Tip!

While I’m all for embracing a rainbow of produce in my cooking, sometimes I prefer to pick a single hue and hammer it home. Here, green sauce meets a texturally diverse array of green toppings—zucchini, pistachios, mint, and sprouts—for a dish as verdant as spring itself. The secret to my pesto’s vibrant hue: shocking the blanched ramps in ice water after cooking them.

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