pistou 1This pungent basil sauce is the French version of pesto. It blends fresh basil leaves, olive oil and garlic, and – unlike the Italian variety – is made without pine nuts or parmesan. Pistou should never be heated before serving. Spoon it cold over virtually anything — pasta, tomato salad, green beans, soup, chicken, asparagus, fish, or use your imagination.  You will be surprised and, hopefully, delighted by the results.

1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
1 bunch fresh basil, or about 1 ounce (30 g)
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place the basil in a blender with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend to obtain a smooth, emulsified sauce.

pistou on tomatoesThis recipe makes about 3/4 cup of sauce. If you don’t use all of the pistou, you can keep it for at least a couple of weeks using the following method:

Pour the extra into a clean jar. Spoon a thin layer of olive oil on top. Close the jar tightly and refrigerate.


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