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This pesto tastes great tossed with pasta and fresh, chopped Roma tomatoes. Or try it spread on toasted baguette slices and topped with crumbled goat cheese, chopped sweet red pepper, and leaves of fresh basil or rosemary.

Try this pesto stirred into a salad of rice vermicelli, grated carrots, chopped green onions, bean sprouts, sliced cucumbers, grilled shrimp, and crushed peanuts. It's also good spread on toasted baguette slices and topped with thinly sliced cucumber, crushed honey-roasted peanuts, grated carrots, and sprigs of mint or basil.

Toss this pesto with steamed squash, or try it stirred into rice or pasta salad. Of course, it’s good spread on toasted baguette slices, perhaps topped with chopped Roma tomatoes, grilled shrimp, and a few pumpkin seeds. Or try it on warm corn tortillas.

At The Bitter End in Austin, Executive Chef Emmett Fox serves this vinaigrette on a salad of mixed greens, pecans, sliced red onions, and goat cheese feta.

Laura Patterson provides this recipe for a traditional red salsa. For variety, Laura suggests adding melted cheese, mashed avocado, or black-eyed peas. She also mixes equal amounts of chopped mango (fresh or bottled) and this basic recipe to make a tropical-flavored sauce you can dip with chips or use on meat and fish.

Mark Lashley, saucier, and Richard Wheatley, sous chef, both of Central Market in Austin, created this unusual salsa recipe especially for the readers of Texas Highways. The chefs say you can use it as a sauce for meat or fish, or simply spoon it over ice cream (chocolate is a winner).

Yield: 2 1/2 cups.

This recipe is adapted from one that appears in Matt Martinez’s Culinary Frontier: A Real Texas Cookbook by Matt Martinez Jr. and Steve Pate (Doubleday, 1997). It’s great with chips, but it’s heavenly with barbecue, steaks, and scrambled eggs. If you don’t have a smoker, a barbecue pit will do.

How hot is too hot? The answer varies from one salsa aficionado to another. For a milder salsa, devein and seed the chilies in the recipe, or simply use fewer chilies.

Yield: 1/2 c. seasonings, enough for 3-4 large steaks.

There's no end to Fredericksburg Herb Farm's natural health-care tips. Apres-shampoo, here's what to do. Slather on this simple formula (for normal to oily hair) to maintain healthy, manageable, and shiny hair.

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