Springtime Delight: Ramp Pesto Polenta with Morel Mushrooms

raw ramps

I’m back in New York this week from a business trip in Nigeria and I’m still lusting over this ravishingly rampy polenta I made for Stingray and me right before I left. He’s eating meat again (praise, Jesus!…I’m Jewish, but whatever) so I convinced him to make his luscious oven-roasted chicken to accompany my side dish. I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen this week!

Ramp Pesto Polenta with Morel Mushrooms

polenta finished product

 

chicken platterServes 4 generous portions

  • 1.5 cups polenta
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 small container of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano
  • 1/2 cup fresh morel mushrooms
  • 2 gloves garlic

For the pesto:

  • 1 bunch fresh ramps, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • S/P to taste

Rough chop ramps and toss into food processor with pine nuts, cheese, lemon juice and zest.  While food processor is running, drizzle in olive oil until mixture is proper, creamy, pesto consistency. Add salt and pepper and add more lemon juice or olive as needed. Set aside.pesto1pesto2

Cook polenta per box instructions. General rule is usually 1 part polenta to 2 parts water/milk. Boil water and slowly add in polenta. Be sure to stir constantly so it doesn’t get clumpy. Reduce heat and let simmer until cooked (5-7 minutes approx).

Fold in container of Greek yogurt and Pecorino. Add salt and pepper to taste.  I added a pinch cayenne to mine, it was nice. Turn off heat and push to back burner.

Heat medium-sized pan to high heat. Add 1 T of butter and splash of olive oil so butter doesn’t burn. Add morels and let sear for 1-2 minutes before poking with a spoon. Once tender and brown, crush 1-2 cloves of garlic into the mushrooms and let soften 1-2 more minutes.

Pour polenta on a beautiful dish, spoon ramp pesto on top and finish with the morel mushrooms and you’ve got the taste of Springtime for supper!

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