Fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz makes this punchy pesto to capture the essence of spring. Chickweed, a spicy herb, is his green of choice to pair with ramps, to which he adds mild herbs and sunflower seeds, but you can replace chickweed with watercress, arugula, or any other peppery green. The same goes for the ramps—this pesto works just as well with spring onions or garlic. It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, and Katz uses it throughout the day: on grits or eggs for breakfast, slathered on sandwiches for lunch, and tossed with potatoes or pasta for dinner.
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- 1 cup packed chickweed, watercress, or arugula leaves, roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil, plus more
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped ramps, or 3 garlic cloves
- 1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, drained
- 2 tbsp. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice Kosher salt
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chickweed with the cilantro, parsley, oil, ramps, and sunflower seeds and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape the pesto into a jar, stir in the Parmigiano and lemon juice, then season with salt. Store the pesto, covered with more olive oil, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.