Pizza Today - April 2021 - 45

seeds, garlic/other allium, cheese and oil.
Of course, if you're making it dairy or nut
free there are substitutions that can be
made, and we will get into that shortly.

For the greens, you can use basil,
cilantro, chives, parsley, kale,
chard, beet greens or any other
herb or green you want. Same goes

for the nut portion. The most traditional
is pine nuts but since they can be pricey
or if you are simply looking for another
flavor profile they can be substituted
with walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds
or sunflower seeds. Cheese is a little
different. Ideally you want to use a hard,
aged varietal. I've always been partial to
grated Parmigiano Reggiano, but if you're
looking for something a bit saltier, you
could always use Pecorino. As far as garlic
goes, feel free to switch it out for another
allium. Spring garlic, ramps and garlic
scapes are awesome in the short window
that they are available. You can also try
leeks, shallots or black garlic. Extra virgin
olive oil is always my preference for pesto.
Once you get a basic recipe down, you
can get creative. Want to make it spicy?
Throw in some jalapeƱos, Serranos or
even ghost peppers. You can take the
spice to a different level by pickling or
roasting the peppers. Like yours on the
sweet side? Replace a little of the oil
with a few tablespoons of honey, agave or
maple syrup. Want a little umami flavor?
Go ahead, toss in some truffle salt.
Some people are stark traditionalists
when it comes to pesto, and if I'm being
honest, a great basil and pine nut pesto
is still my favorite. Tony Gemignani has
always done a fantastic pesto. He might
use basic ingredients, but he puts care into
what they are. His recipe is comprised
of fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano
Reggiano, garlic, olive oil and, as a twist,
he throws in a little agave syrup. He pairs
his pesto with everything from a simple
mozzarella and tomato to purple potato
pie. Most recently I saw him making
Green Top Detroits. Now, I'm not a
Detroit pizza expert by any means, but
this isn't something I have seen. It looked
gorgeous and utterly delicious.
Recently, I've noticed a few other really
fun and creative pestos that have stuck in
my head and made me want to hop on
a plane to go try them. Chris Decker of

044_PIZ_0421_IKpesto.indd 45

Metro Pizza makes a Peppadew pesto.
Unlike other pestos where the basil and
garlic comprise the main flavor profile,
the Peppadews are the star of the show
in this one. He pairs it with sausage links
and caramelized onions. Another really
interesting pesto I saw on Instagram
was a beetroot pesto from A Dopo in
Knoxville, Tennessee. Owner, Brian
Strutz, said that their manager, Andrew,
came up with the recipe. In addition to
the cooked and pureed beets, they add in
walnuts, lemon juice, chives and parsley.
The bright red is visually gorgeous,
especially during the grey winter months.
At my Slice Shop our house pesto is
actually vegan. This is because we get a
lot of requests for vegan pies, and pesto
is an easy thing to make dairy and meat
free. Another reason for its veganism is
that I don't like to make two versions of
the same thing, so we don't waste space
or time. I've seen people do vegan pestos
with nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan
in place of the cheese, but I like to simply
add a hit of fresh lemon juice and some
sea salt to balance out the flavors.
I'm all about cross-utilization at my
restaurant. I like to get multiple uses
out of all of my ingredients and pesto
is fantastic for so many different things.
Of course, it is brilliant on pizza. It can
brighten up any pie. But it is also great
as an appetizer or a pasta sauce. It can be
lathered on crusty bread for bruschetta,
used as a marinade for chicken, baked
with burrata and sun-dried tomatoes,
drizzled on top of fresh mozzarella or
feta, turned into a salad dressing, or used
as a dipping sauce for focaccia. There are
endless options just with pasta. It can
be served hot with a nice bucatini or
Strichetti, layered in lasagna, or one of my
favorites is a simple cold pesto pasta salad.
As you can see, all pestos are not
created equal, even if you're following
an exact recipe. There are a few things
to keep in mind and a few tricks to
make it come out as close to perfect
as possible. First off, think about your
garlic. The garlic is what will give pesto
its kick, assuming you're not adding
any other peppers or spicy ingredients.
Where does your garlic come from? Is it
green in the middle? What time of year
is it? All of these factors will determine
how spicy the garlic is and thus the final

product of your pesto.
Next is keeping that vibrant green
color. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
will help with that. The acidity will also
balance out the flavors. Another trick is to
add a few ice chips when you are blending
the basil. This slows down the oxidation
and retains the bright green color.
Another trick that Tony let me in on is to
make your bulk batch more concentrated
and then add more oil right before using
it. He also puts the pesto on post-bake so
that it not only retains its color, but also
keeps the oil from making the pizza too
wet. It's a trick that I am now doing and
love the results I am getting. That being
said, if you are using pesto as a base on
your pizzas and not as worried about the
color, it can be a great way to use up basil
that has started to turn a little darker.
As you can see, the possibilities are
endless when it comes to pesto. So, create
your go-to recipe and then explore all of
the possibilities by substituting different
ingredients. Below is a recipe for a
vegan chive pesto. It's vegan because I
will assume that it is a common request
everywhere for more vegan options, and
homemade always sells better on a menu.
Its main ingredient is chives because I
just can't seem to get enough of them
lately.

VEGAN CHIVE PESTO
2 cups fresh chives
2 cups fresh basil
2 cups pumpkin seeds, walnuts or pine
nuts
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1
whole lemon)
3/4 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Add all ingredients to food processor
except oil.
Blend until combined.
Slowly stream in oil and blend until
smooth.

AUDREY KELLY owns Audrey Jane's
Pizza Garage in Boulder, Colorado.

3/9/21 9:50 AM



Pizza Today - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - April 2021

Pizza Today April 2021
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike's Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony's Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Ghost Kitchens
New Item Roll Out
Private Labeling
Outdoor Dining Setup
The New York Style
Going Pesto
Latest menu Trends
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - April 2021 - CT1
Pizza Today - April 2021 - CT2
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Pizza Today April 2021
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Cover2
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Commentary
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 4
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 5
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 6
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 7
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Digital
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 9
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Conversation
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 11
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Mike's Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 13
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 15
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 17
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Tony's Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 19
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 21
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 22
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 23
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Destinations
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 25
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Ghost Kitchens
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 27
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 28
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 29
Pizza Today - April 2021 - New Item Roll Out
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 31
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 32
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 35
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Private Labeling
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PEC1
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE2
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE3
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE4
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE5
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE6
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE7
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE8
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE9
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE10
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE11
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE12
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE13
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE14
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE15
Pizza Today - April 2021 - PE16
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 35
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Outdoor Dining Setup
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 37
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 38
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 39
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 40
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 41
Pizza Today - April 2021 - The New York Style
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 43
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Going Pesto
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 45
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Latest menu Trends
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 47
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 48
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 49
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 51
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 53
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 54
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 55
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 56
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 57
Pizza Today - April 2021 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 59
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 60
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 61
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 62
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 63
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 64
Pizza Today - April 2021 - 65
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Cover3
Pizza Today - April 2021 - Cover4
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