pistou 3This is a recipe for French basil sauce, and it is also a final test to make sure everything is running smoothly on this site following my misadventure with hackers. The story of how and why they got into The Everyday French Chef grows more interesting by the day, and I promise that my next post will provide the details. I’m still waiting for a few bits of information. Many thanks to all the readers who have signaled glitches over the last week. A wonderful web doctor in Florida has cleaned up the site, and hopefully it’s working fine now. The whodunnit post will most likely go up tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s…

Pistou / French basil sauce

This sauce hails from Provence and is closely akin to pesto, the Italian version from the Liguria region just over the French-Italian border. The difference is that the French omit the pine nuts and, usually, the cheese. A version this herbal sauce with garlic has been around since Roman times: Virgil mentioned it in his Eclogues, although the Romans probably used parsley rather than basil. In France, this aromatic sauce is most frequently used in Soupe au pistou, a summer soup with chopped vegetables and dried beans that is not very different from minestrone. But its fabulous pungency can add pizzazz to many dishes. A spoonful drizzled over pasta, fish, chicken, veggies or salads transforms a dish from ordinary to exceptional. Pistou is traditionally made by pounding the basil and garlic together with a mortar and pestle, but these days it is most easily made in a blender. The recipe is simplicity itself. Preparation takes less than 5 minutes. Happy cooking!


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