Ode to Pesto

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Pesto is the ultra flavorful bite of bright summer. Most of us know the classic green sauce recipe of basil, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, and salt. In her visually stunning new book Pesto: The Modern Mother Sauce, author Leslie Lennox shows that pesto doesn’t have to be limited to the delicious archetype. Pesto can lean beyond Italian to Thai, Japanese, and Mexican as a building block to flavorful dishes. Beyond changing up the herbs, nuts, cheeses, and seasonings, she makes a case for seasonality and using pieces and parts otherwise considered kitchen waste. 

Lennox is the founder of the award-winning artisanal pesto company Hope’s Garden’s, which began in 2007 in Atlanta just as Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market was kicking off. Her book expands upon her company’s library of flavors with 97 recipes for pesto.  

Now a New Yorker, Lennox is headed to Atlanta to celebrate the debut of her pretty book. Here are two ways to get your pesto on and snag a signed copy of the book.  

Thursday, August 15 Lennox heads to Buckhead’s Holeman & Finch Public House for a special author dinner. Diners will explore three courses inspired by pesto followed by a book signing. This one is extraordinary in multiple ways. Chef owner Linton Hopkins founded Peachtree Road Farmers Market, where Lennox first sold her jarred pestos. H&F closes at the end of August and will resurface next year at Colony Square in Midtown. Dinner begins at 6 PM and tickets are available here.

Holeman & Finch Public House. 2277 Peachtree Rd, NE. Atlanta. 404-948-1175. holeman-finch.com.


Lennox heads to Chop Shop, Atlanta’s first butcher and farmer owned retail store for a brilliant collaboration/book signing on Friday, August 16.  

Rusty Bowers, whole animal butcher and Chop Shop’s co-owner Rusty Bowers is a fan of Lennox’s new book for the ways in which she suggests taming wastefulness with fruits and vegetables. He loves that pesto is a recipe that can make bold use of those ingredients.  “I’ve always loved not only the flavor but the versatility of pesto. It can be used on vegetables and meat, and while many people think that pesto blends into a dish, there are ways to make it really stand out,” said Bowers.

For the event, Chop Shop is making a special citrus-brined turkey breast and pesto mayo Panini. Enjoy it on the spacious patio or purchase it as a takeaway item. The store will also sell a limited edition small batch of Jalapeno-Cilantro Pesto sausages. Both items feature pesto recipes found in the book and will only be available Friday, August 16.

Lennox will sign copies of her book from 5-7 PM and perhaps lend advice for using up your summer garden herbs and veggies. Books will be available for sale at Chop Shop.

Chop Shop. 1366 Memorial Dr. SE. Atlanta. 404-594-1027. chopshopatl.com.

Heather Sinyard