Going beyond basic means rethinking the base. Move over, oil. Woodier puts mayo and even avocado to the pesto test. She grabs from the global pantry, reaching for tomatillos, seeds and jalapenos for Mexican takes, ginger and peanut for Asian accents. Mixing it up also means thinking about applications: salads, soups, grains, breads, steak and seafood. Pesto is so versatile that it’s more a question of what it can’t go with than what it can.
Woodier’s recipe for Ricotta and Garden Greens Pesto is a gardener’s delight, as it uses a handful of immature greens and herbs, plus chives that deliver an onion-garlic flavor punch. Even carrot tops, she says, are contenders, although she cautions against using too much because of their assertive flavor. Ricotta and honey also make an appearance. Soft cheese and sweeteners might be atypical pesto additives, but for this “kitchen sink” concoction, they more than get the job done.
Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.