Ramp Pesto Ham & Gruyère Panini

8 slices crusty white bread
8 thick slices Gruyère cheese
16 slices think sliced smoked ham

for the ramp pesto:
2 bunches ramps
3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 tablespoons toasted pinenuts
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place the pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until well ground.
Place the cheese in a single layer on a slice of bread. Spread the ramp pesto on the cheese, top with ham and another layer of cheese. Cover the cheese with the other slice of bread. Lightly oil each side of the sandwich. Place on a panini press preheated to “medium”. Press until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.

Yield: 4 panini

My thoughts:

Recently I was sent some yummy cheese from Emmi. I loved the Swiss Alp Bellevue and Winzer Classic so much but I thought the  Gruyère would work well with the leftover ham I had. I also had some ramps leftover from some other dishes (recipes to come!) that were looking a bit limp so I thought I’d make a quick pesto with it. The sandwich ended up being a West Virginia meets Switzerland meets French sort of an affair which sounds crazy but was really, really good! I like making panini because some how they seem more special and oddly, more filling than regular sandwiches but I think this one would be good cold as well.

Like ramps?  One of my recipes (with picture!) is included in this cookbook, Ramps: Cooking with the Best Kept Secret of the Appalachian Trail available now!


  1. Enjoyed reading your ramp recipe. It's not been a secret – just now discovered by the outside world. Our local rescue squad has had a ramp festival every year for years. Good spring tonic along with "branch lettuce" and "crow's foot" "killed" with bacon drippings, for the best "wild" salad you've ever tasted. They are good fried, raw or just seeing them grow wild. I have dried ramps before on my dehydrator for soups in the winter.

  2. Sounds fun Ramona! I've been enjoying eating ramps for many, many years. I wish they grew in my yard! 🙂

  3. This sounds amazing and I have never cooked with ramps. How creative!