Lush, bright green bushels of basil are stealing the spotlight at local farmers’ markets, so we’re putting this versatile herb to use in classic and creative dishes, including quick-fix pestos, kicked up cocktails, seasonal sides, and more.
The elusive black garlic, most commonly found in Asian cuisine, gets its look and flavor from a month-long fermentation process. The head is cooked low and slow until the cloves change from white to deep ink. Like roasted garlic, the texture remains smooth and spreadable, but the flavor intensifies: think syrupy and sweet with balsamic undertones.
To work exotic black garlic into a more familiar dish, try Yum and Yummer’s Meyer-Lemon Infused Fettuccine with Spinach, Pistachio, and Black Garlic Pesto, which catches this allium flirting with Italian for a unique take on the traditional.
Photo: Romulo Yanes
With fall in full swing, it’s time to take one last look at the garden before the oncoming frost. Crushing garlic, basil, and pine nuts and blending the trio with pecorino, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and olive oil will give you a basic pesto sauce perfect for drizzling over your favorite pasta.
If you’re a pesto fanatic and want to add the fresh herb sauce to more than just pasta and pizza, opt for Shirred Eggs with Pesto, a dish that’s easy enough for weekday mornings and delicious enough for weekend brunch. If fall weather keeps you inside and you have a little more time, try our Pesto, Olive, Roasted Pepper Goat Cheese Torta as the ultimate appetizer or vegetarian-friendly main dish.
Where are your favorite ways to use pesto?
Dress up any autumnal meal with our top picks for sauces and spreads, from Pumpkin Butter to Boozy Bacon Jam. Get cooking for your holiday meal or bottle up a batch for the ultimate homemade gift.
- Café Sucré Farine transforms a classic dessert into a spreadable jam by combining carrots, apples, pineapples, and pecans for Carrot Cake Jam (pictured above).
- La Kocinera’s version of hummus substitutes traditional chickpeas for black beans and tops off the mix with jalapeños for a spicy Black Bean Hummus.
- Keep a Sunday afternoon free this fall to try Mmm…Is for Mommy’s Sunday Gravy, which becomes a meal in and of itself with the addition of Italian sausage, flank steak, and pork ribs.
- Torview spices up Sweet Mango Chutney with subtle hints of chili powder and ginger.
- Give your breakfast sandwiches a double-dose of bacon with Spoon Fork Bacon’s Boozy Bacon Jam.
- Share My Kitchen’s Pesto Rosso kicks up the traditional sauce with the addition of tangy tomatoes.
- Go gluten-free and vegan with Life Tastes Like Food‘s Pumpkin Butter, which is perfect for slathering on French toast, bagels, or crispy crostini.
As we approach Memorial Day, what better fresh and fast dish to conjure in your backyards than Veggie Belly‘s grilled eggplant, halloumi and pesto burger. A healthy and delectable alternative to the traditional holiday hamburger, this grilled, vegetarian take on the American classic highlights the best of nature’s bounty. Eat it with a slice of juicy watermelon or an ice cold beer.