Artichoke Lemon Pesto from Alta Cucina Italia

Buy This: Three condiments that will brighten your cooking   

Condiments are the thing that makes meals sing. Isn’t there a song with that title? 

Artichoke Lemon Pesto from Alta Cucina Italia 

We love the sound of it, “Crema di Carciofi al Limone.” Doesn’t that just sound delicious? It’s the Italian name for this combination of artichoke hearts, fresh lemon juice, garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano, blended into a spread that’s as delicious simply spooned on crackers as it is stirred into pasta. We Americans tend to think of pestos as being basil-based, but they can be any spread that’s “crushed” (like the root word “pestare” which means “to crush”). Adriana Coppola, creator of Alta Cucina Italia, grew up in a small town near Naples, Italy. Now living in John’s Creek, she makes Italian-style artisan condiments and sauces. The packaging is old world Italian and the flavors are bright and modern. Use her artichoke lemon pesto as the sauce on your next homemade pizza, as part of the vinaigrette for your next salad or tuck some under the skin of a chicken breast and then top with more pesto and Parmesan and bake. We know you’ll dream up dozens more uses. 

$13 per 6.5-ounce jar. Available online at altacucinaitalia.com/.  

Roasted Pepper Salsa from Fra Li

Roasted Pepper Salsa from Fra Li 

The Marra family of Savannah-based FraLi Gourmet produces fresh pasta, dried pasta, pasta sauce and gourmet vegetable preparations including giardiniera, eggplant melanzane and roasted pepper salsa. They call that pepper condiment “salsa” but it’s not that combination of tomatoes and other vegetables and seasonings you think of as a chip dip. This is a thick, spoonable sauce of roasted red and yellow peppers mixed with oil, vinegar, honey and a little garlic. Stirred together with heavy cream, it makes an easy and delicious sauce for pasta (which is how we used almost our entire jar). We really love how the roasted flavor comes through and that makes it a perfect candidate to top a burger or to use as a condiment on a sandwich (move over mayo!). FraLi Gourmet has been open for curbside pickup and delivery during the pandemic and is now open for shop in and dine in so if you’re in Savannah, you can stop in and pick up a whole bag full of their housemade products. 

$7.99 per 10-ounce jar. Available online at fraligourmet.com/.  

Porzio’s Roasted Garlic Basil Pesto

Porzio’s Roasted Garlic Basil Pesto 

The Porzio family had a long history in the Savannah area, starting when John Porzio stowed away on a ship from Naples and landed there. For many years, the family ran Savannah’s first pizzeria. Decades later, Charleston-based Maureen Porzio, John’s great-great-granddaughter began bottling the family’s famous pizza and pasta sauce, and with her business partner Kaitlyn Ervin expanded the company’s offerings to include two varieties of pesto as well as ketchup sweetened with strawberries and dates instead of corn syrup. We’ve been enjoying the Roasted Garlic Basil Pesto. The ingredients include olive oil, spinach, basil, roasted garlic, pecans and a combination of Romano and Parmesan cheeses. The garlic flavor is mild so the spinach and basil really comes through. Pesto has become one of the standard condiments in many kitchens, so you probably have your own favorite uses, but have you considered pesto on grilled corn, pesto on roasted sweet potatoes or pesto in your tuna salad? 

$10 per 8-ounce jar. Available online at porzios.com/ with 20 percent off for first time customers. 

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