Leslie Lennox, founder of the artisan pesto company Hope’s Gardens, shows us that pesto need not be limited to its original ingredients. 


The Modern

Mother Sauce   

Creative pestos can serve as building blocks for flavorful meals, just like any good “Mother Sauce”. Leslie introduces readers to a new way to think about pesto. In the right proportion, almost any combination of plants, garlic, nuts, cheese, seasoning and oil can make a delicious sauce – especially when you’re using what’s on hand, what’s local and what’s in season. Pesto became the Lennox family’s life. After sharing recipes with customers over the years, Leslie had always hoped to put them down on paper someday. That day is finally here.






Leslie Derene Lennox started making pesto in 1999 when her family purchased an old home in Atlanta, Georgia, which had a long forgotten 1,200 square foot greenhouse attached to the home and a 3,000 square foot garden in back. Basil grew prolific and pesto was created soon after being harvested. At the time, Leslie owned a handmade greeting card company and was invited to have a booth at a new farmers market. The buzz around locally grown, organic food was deafening and Leslie returned home convinced they should market the bounties of their garden the next weekend, including some homemade basil pesto. The rest is history!
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Illustrations by Anna Repp