My Stone Castle


Ramps with Shrimp and Pasta

a spring rampage

Where does inspiration come from? For me, it’s the seasons, the land, and my local market.  My husband also has a big say in what looks good so we share meal planning.  He chooses the main course and I curate and cook the meal. Today he came home with beautiful fresh Louisiana shrimp.  I took to the woods to find rapunzel. 
Who knew that edible botany and fairytales had something in common. Rapunzel is a highly coveted spring delicacy, native to Southern Europe, that grows near streams in woodlands.  In the Spring, my fellow foodie, forager friends, and I head into the woods of the castle, trowels, and buckets in hand, to harvest the ramps and grab a few ferns for our woodland gardens as well.  Local specialty markets sell ramps as well. Call ahead and have them save some for you! 
Ramps make excellent sauces, sauteed greens, and add to almost any meal. Combine a good walk in the woods with a quick spring dinner. Here’s how. 

Ramps with Shrimp and Pasta

YIELD:  Makes 4 servings; can be doubled



-4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

-1/2 cup Olive Oil

-20 Large shrimps

-2 cups chopped ramps

-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

-2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

-Parmesan for garnish



  1. Melt half of the butter and half of the olive oil in a large nonstick large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat dry the shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to skillet; cook until pink and golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp  to an oven-safe plate, and place in A 200-degree oven (a perfect temperature to also warm the plates when the time comes.) 
  2. Melt the remaining butter and olive oil in the same skillet. Add ramps; sauté 5 minutes, till wilted. Add the lemon juice and peel.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon over the shrimp and return to the warm oven.
  3. Cook the pasta (we used low carb pasta) and when it’s done, transfer it to either the skillet or a serving platter and cover with the shrimp and ramps and the shrimp juiced  “released” while the shrimp were in the oven.  their 
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. If I am in the mood for an extra kick, I swirl some ramp pesto in as well.  See recipe below.  






Rapunzel Pesto

YIELD:  Makes 4 servings; can be doubled



-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

-1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
-2 cups ramp about 2 dozen
-½ olive oil
-Salt to taste
-Cheese is optional


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. a. Set a large bowl of ice water nearby. Plunge the ramp leaves into the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and quickly cool in the ice water. Squeeze dry.
  2. Coarsely chop the ramps and put them into a food processor.  (Purists use a pestle (hence the name pesto).  Add the toasted nuts, garlic, and start adding olive oil. How much? Depends on how you are using your pesto. If you are making a spread, maybe 1/4 cup. If a pasta sauce, double that. Add a little at a time, checking the consistency.   
  3. When it’s a nice rough paste, taste it and season to your liking.  Add the cheese to taste.
  4. Serve as a spread on bread, as a pasta sauce, or as a dollop on fish or poultry.
  1. kathy c okoniewski says:

    Ramp Pesto!? Garlic scape pesto has been my favorite ever since I started growing garlic….but Ramp Pesto sounds like it could be a new fovorite! Love to go ramp hunting with you in the spring!! Kathy O – sister outlaw!

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