Nothing says, “Hello Spring!” more than the combination of extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs. Out of infinite possibilities, we’ve narrowed it down to our four favorite uses for herbs and olive oil, otherwise known as a match made in heaven.
Basil is the to-go herb for pesto, but there are so many other options, especially if you’re willing to get creative. Herbalists swear by a pesto made with the nutrient-dense and surprisingly delicious chickweed. How about a cilantro pesto gussied up with pepitas and cotija cheese? Pesto, of all types, goes great on eggs, tossed into bean salads, or mixed into pasta, soups and stew. Use it as a dip, or a pizza sauce. It’s all good.
This French condiment closely resembles Ligurian pesto, with one key difference—leave out the pine nuts. Pistou originated in the Provence region of France, where it’s commonly used as a flavorful addition to Soupe au Pistou, a traditional soup of white beans, hearty greens, and pasta. Used like pesto as a topping for pasta, fish, and roasted veggies, pistou keeps without refrigeration and is a good way to preserve lots of fresh herbs all at once. There’s only one true way to make pistou correctly, says Food & Wine’s Paula Wolfert, and that is by hand.
For a simple and fabulous sauce, warm extra virgin olive oil, garlic and chili flakes in a pan. Toss in lots of fresh chopped herbs. We like to use whatever is growing happiest in the garden, usually oregano or sage. Toss with organic pasta noodles or make your own pasta from scratch.
In Argentina, you’ll find a bowl of chimichurri on pretty much every dinner table. Michelle Bernstein’s recipe features loads of fresh chopped parsley and oregano leaves. Chimichurri makes the perfect topping for a grilled skirt steak, but it also marries well with smoky grilled fish and chicken.