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Vegan Wild Garlic (Ramp) Pesto

Raw, vegan Wild Garlic Pesto is a deliciously, delightfully, and truly universal spring condiment, made with 5 ingredients. Perfect with pasta or as a bread spread, it goes well with all things savory. This ramp pesto is vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and low-carb.

A Spoon of Ramp Pesto Laying on an Open Jar.

Wild garlic pesto is about to become your go-to spring condiment: it’s a spread, dip, flavorful stir-in, and even a salad dressing. Seriously, ramp pesto is that versatile.

You can:

  • bake it into bread,
  • spread it on your toast,
  • use it as a soup garnish,
  • drizzle it over roasted vegetables,
  • add it to scrambled eggs,
  • top some pizza with it,
  • stir it into pasta…

really you can use it with pretty much all things savory.

Spring Pasta with Wild Garlic Pesto.

How To Make Pesto Without Basil

In case you didn’t already know it, pesto isn’t just made of basil any more. While classic pesto is a blend of olive oil, pine nuts, and basil, there are so many alternatives to try.

While kale pesto is just the thing in winter and basil pesto is flavor perfection in summer, wild garlic pesto is great in spring (and, really, all year…because garlic is good every single day of the year!).

Here are some more ideas for your homemade pesto without basil: parsley, arugula, cilantro, garlic scapes, pea shoots, mint, thyme, sage, spinach, tarragon, Swiss chard, beet greens (basically any kind of seasonal greens), ramp, pumpkin seed, dried tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, roasted bell peppers, beets, carrots, ricotta…and that’s just a beginning list. 

Not only that, but there are a variety of nuts you can use instead of the classic pine nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, macadamia, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and so on.

Use any combination of greens/roasted veggies and nuts, add some garlic, Parmesan or any other hard cheese (replace with nutritional yeast for vegans), and olive oil (feel free to try other kinds of oil like avocado, sunflower, pumpkin seed, walnut, sesame, almond, grapeseed and coconut)

Your options for fresh pesto recipes are limited only by your imagination and the ingredients available to you.

Wild Garlic Pesto in a Jar Next to a Spoon.

Making Fresh Wild Garlic Pesto

Seasonal eating is a way to get the best flavor and the most nutrition from your fresh ingredients. That means ramp pesto is ideal in early April (depending on your region, of course). 

We collected a lot of wild garlic in the forest next to our house, so I made creamy wild garlic soup as well as pesto from it. I also froze some for later and use it as a garnish, for example for beetroot risotto, pasta or salads.

You can alter ingredients of your favorite dishes to better suit your climate, like use wild garlic instead of basil in a pesto. Be inspired by the traditional food and ingredients of your region. 

Feel free to alter the greens, nuts and oil according to what’s in season in your region right now to make your fresh pesto.

Vegan Penne with Ramp Pesto.

What is Ramp Pesto?

This wild garlic pesto recipe is also known as Ramp Pesto.

Ramp, also known as wild leek, is similar to green onions. They have a pungent green taste with garlic flavor that mellows with cooking and becomes even more rich. The leaves are flat and have a purpose streak that runs up the sides.

The leaves are a marvelous addition to any cooked greens recipe or fresh salad you are making in addition to being used in this garlic pesto.

Ramps in a Collander.

Ingredients

For this pesto you’ll need:

  • wild garlic
  • almonds
  • agave syrup
  • nutritional yeast
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

Ingredients for Wild Garlic Pesto.

Storing Homemade Wild Garlic Pesto

Once you make your ramp pesto, you’ll want to store it in the refrigerator in between uses. It will last for a couple of weeks this way.

If you can, you can also preserve it this way using water canning method. Sterilize your jars (boil them for 15 minutes in water), let cool, fill them with pesto and pour some olive oil on the surface before you seal them. This way they can be stored for 2-3 months in your pantry.

While pesto can be frozen for up to 3 months, the consistency changes and it becomes better suited to an add in for soups or breads than a dip or spread.

How to Make Wild Garlic Pesto From Scratch

Gather all the ingredients and blend them together until smooth adding water to adjust the consistency, starting with 1 tablespoon. See the process description in my ramp pesto web story.

You can use a blender, a chopper or an immersion blender for mixing. I like to use a mini food processor for my pesto.

Ingredients for Ramp Pesto in a Blender.Cook’s Tips

  • This wild garlic pesto recipe is raw, vegan and nutrient-dense.
  • You can bake it into bread, spread it on your toast, use it as a soup garnish, drizzle it over roasted vegetables, add it to scrambled eggs, top some pizza with it, stir it into pasta… you can use it with pretty much all things savory. 
  • Use a blender, a chopper or an immersion blender for your pesto. I like to use this mini food processor.
  • If the pesto is too thick, add a bit of water, starting with 1 tablespoon and keep blending until you like the consistency.
  • You can store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Preserve it using water canning method (see details above) to prolong the shelf life to 2-3 months.
  • This pesto can be frozen for up to 3 months, but since the consistency changes, it is best used as an add in for soups or breads rather than a dip or spread.
  • If you are looking for ways to use up your pesto jar, make sure to check these 50 healthy vegan recipes with pesto.

Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto in a Jar.

Recipe Variations

  • Use any other nuts or seeds instead of almonds: macadamia, walnuts, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Replace wild garlic with other leafy greens or their combinations like arugula, kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, garlic scapes, pea shoots, mint, thyme, sage, tarragon, Swiss chard, beet greens, etc.
  • Add avocado, sun-dried-tomatoes, roasted eggplant, garlic zucchini or bell peppers, peas, beets or carrots to your pesto to make it extra nutritious and add a boost of flavor. Alternatively, try this awesome avocado dressing and roasted garlic sauce.
  • To balance the taste, you can use any other liquid sweetener of your choice instead of agave syrup: date syrup, maple syrup or molasses.
  • Substitute avocado, sunflower, pumpkin seed, walnut, sesame, almond, grapeseed and coconut oil to olive oil
  • To make the pesto sauce oil-free, add a few slices of ripe tomatoes and adjust the consistency with water.

Vegan Pasta with Wild Garlic Sauce.

This recipe is a part of my vegan Easter recipes collection that also includes vegan brunch and breakfast recipes, mains, sides and desserts. Hope you can check it out!
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5 from 3 votes

Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto

Raw, vegan Wild Garlic Pesto is a delicious spring condiment perfect with pasta or spread. It only requires 5 ingredients and 5 minutes!
Course Condiment
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword ramp pesto, ramp pesto recipe, spring pesto, wild garlic pesto, wild garlic pesto recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 242kcal
$4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (tightly packed) 120 g or 4 oz wild garlic leaves with stems
  • 1/3 cup or 40 g almonds toasted in a frying pan for 1-2 minutes or microwaved for up to 30 seconds
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup or 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • water to adjust the consistency (see notes)

Instructions

  • Add wild garlic leaves with stems, toasted almonds, nutritional yeast, agave syrup, salt and pepper in a cup of a food processor or blender and blend until a thick paste forms, scrapping sides. Add extra virgin olive oil and keep blending. If the pesto is too thick, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until you like the consistency. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto which is approximately 8 servings (2 tablespoons per serving).

Cook's Tips

  • This wild garlic pesto recipe is raw, vegan and nutrient-dense.
  • You can bake it into bread, spread it on your toast, use it as a soup garnish, drizzle it over roasted vegetables, add it to scrambled eggs, top some pizza with it, stir it into pasta... you can use it with pretty much all things savory. 
  • Use a blender, a chopper or an immersion blender for your pesto. I like to use this mini food processor.
  • If the pesto is too thick, add a bit of water, starting with 1 tablespoon and keep blending until you like the consistency.
  • You can store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Preserve it using water canning method (see details above) to prolong the shelf life to 2-3 months.
  • This pesto can be frozen for up to 3 months, but since the consistency changes, it is best used as an add in for soups or breads rather than a dip or spread.
  • If you are looking for ways to use up your pesto jar, make sure to check these 50 healthy vegan recipes with pesto.

Recipe Variations

  • Use any other nuts or seeds instead of almonds: macadamia, walnuts, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Replace wild garlic with other leafy greens or their combinations like arugula, kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, garlic scapes, pea shoots, mint, thyme, sage, tarragon, Swiss chard, beet greens, etc.
  • Add avocado, sun-dried-tomatoes, roasted eggplant, garlic zucchini or bell peppers, peas, beets or carrots to your pesto to make it extra nutritious and add a boost of flavor. Alternatively, try this awesome avocado dressing and roasted garlic sauce.
  • To balance the taste, you can use any other liquid sweetener of your choice instead of agave syrup: date syrup, maple syrup or molasses.
  • Substitute avocado, sunflower, pumpkin seed, walnut, sesame, almond, grapeseed and coconut oil to olive oil
  • To make the pesto sauce oil-free, add a few slices of ripe tomatoes and adjust the consistency with water.

Equipment

mini food processor
food processor
glass jar
rubber spatula
colander
measuring spoons

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1006IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg
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Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto Pinterest Image
Recipe Rating




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David

Tuesday 28th of June 2016

I love that your garlic pesto has soo many uses! Its versatility is amazing and I may have to save this recipe for future use. Thanks for sharing this.

Elena Szeliga

Saturday 2nd of July 2016

I'm so glad you like my recipe, David!

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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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