Pesto, Change-o

SAVEUR - - Kitchen -

Kombu, a green kelp that’s sold in dried, leath­ery sheets, is a ba­sic build­ing block of Ja­panese dashi. We’ve been us­ing it to make a full-bod­ied veg­e­tar­ian stock (see “How to Think About Veg­eta­bles,” page 36) but hated the idea of throw­ing it out post-sim­mer. That got us think­ing: Why not use it in a pesto?

Soaked or cooked kombu blends eas­ily into a silky sauce and plays well with any com­bi­na­tion of pestofriendly aro­mat­ics (cit­rus zests, gar­lic, chiles), herbs, and nuts. The slightly briny pesto is per­fectly suited to light seafod dishes and is more likely than herb pestos to keep its bright green hue when hit with the heat from grilled meats or steam­ing bowls of pasta. Kombu pesto will keep in the fridge for days, which is good news as you’ll find plenty of uses for it: sal­ads, veg­etable hashes, slathered on burg­ers, or tossed with roasted or steamed veg­eta­bles. Add a heap of pesto-dredged greens to kombu broth for a soupe au pis­tou of the sea. —K.M.

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