Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring Roots with Ramp Pecan Pesto and Feta

If and when I have a restaurant of my own, it will be the type with a prix fixe menu of whatever-I-feel-like-making from the ingredients in season, hopefully from my own farm. Oh, and it will feature this recipe. Making the most of spring vegetables - Garlicky Ramps, Fingerling Potatoes, Spring Onions, Heirloom Carrots, and huge White Turnips - this dish is simultaneously decadent, healthy, and good for the earth, the local community, and your wallet. How can you beat that?

I roughly chopped a few fingerlings, spring onion bulbs, turnips, big orange and purple heirloom carrots, and tossed them with a bit of olive oil and salt. I threw these in a 425 degree oven until they smelled good and were toasty golden. I chopped and sauteed the tops of the spring onions - the green parts - and a big handful of ramps in some olive oil. When they got soft, I added a few splashes of dry sherry. This mix went into the food processor with some Parmesan cheese, garlic, toasted pecans, salt, pepper, and more olive oil. This is SO GOOD, I could eat it on EVERYTHING. Yes. Everything.

When the roots were done, I topped them with the pesto and some good crumbled feta. A sprinkling of fresh chopped oregano from my garden and it was dinner time. There's no exact recipe here - and substitution is the name of the game. Use what you can find in your area or what you have in your fridge. Add your favorite herbs, play around with the roots, change up the cheeses, and use whatever toasted nuts you have.

Eating consciously is about enjoying locally grown and raised products in season, and meals like this prove how that never has to mean deprivation. Eat well, and keep your fingers crossed for my future restaurant. Blog readers get a discount.

A girl can dream.


  1. Hey, Oakley, why aren't all those blog fans champing at the bit to talk about your beautiful and interesting photos and recipes?

    Once I wipe the tears off my eyes, I can't wait to comment on your work! Keep at it. I am so entertained!

    Country Rhodes

  2. This looks delicious.

    Our mutual friend Tami pointed me in your direction, and I'm so glad she did. Your photographs and food ideas are lovely.

    In fact, I have almost everything I'd need to make a modified version of this on hand: a sweet potato, some carrots, a big parsnip, goat feta, and a batch of pesto I made just this afternoon. Might just have to try this combination!

  3. Mmmm, this looks AMAZING! :) I want to make some right now. :)

  4. Pecan pesto? I can just imagine how fabulous that tastes.

  5. This meal looks amazing, and so responsible. Best of luck with your restaurant goals, I would love to do something like that!

  6. This looks like a delicious meal!

  7. Hi Oakley!
    That recipe sounds delicious! I'm always looking for healthy meals/recipes that can also double as snacks.
    I started my own blog this weekend about my adventures at the PFA, I love going to the farmers market, and I've been wanting to write about sustainability and eating locally for quite a while. What a great medium blogs are! I'm as new as it gets to the blogosphere, so any comments/suggestions you have would be very welcome. My blog is very bare bones at this point and I know needs much more work. Thanks, and hopefully we'll meet up at the market soon! :)


    Bret Perkins

  8. Very beautiful recipe indeed. I love the ramps!

  9. That pesto sounds wonderful. I can see why you say you can eat it on anything!

  10. Very elegant way to present these honored veggies! The Pictures are gorgeous! Don't cha just love it when they turn out so good? Keep up the good work!

  11. Those are some stunning photos! And you also have a way with words. I most certainly want to try exactly what you have described here. Open a restaurant and I'll be there.

  12. This looks great and this is the way I used to make my food too when I lived near a farmers market, that was the best part of living in Florida, but now I am back home and there are only farmers markets in summer but I will definitely live near one year round again, or like you my own garden. I totally also agree that you would have a fabulous restaurant. My own restaurant would be like that as well, I love taking food straight from the earth and dousing it with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or fresh citrus. That salad looks delicious! And now I am hungry for some real good food!