Thursday, May 13, 2010


Pistou, a cold sauce from Provence, is not pesto but they do share a similar origin. The sauce is traditionally prepared with a mortar and pestle (pistou deriving from the word pounded), but a blender or food processor will work if you do a fine chop of the basil leaves first.

I used this to add flavor to a vegetable soup and it was pretty great. The recipe below makes 2 cups. That's a lot if using it as a garnish for soup. You could probably reduce the ingredients to 1/3 (or even 1/4), make the sauce with a mortar and pestle (kickin' it old school) and be good to go. It won't have the same color and consistency as if you blend a larger amount, but it will taste good.


2 cups

6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (see notes)
4 to 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
30 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried

1. Put the garlic and tomatoes in a blender or food processor with about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.

2. Begin processing. With the machine running, add the basil leaves, then pour in enough extra-virgin olive oil to make a smooth, thick, but fluid paste.

You will have to blanch the tomatoes in order to peel and de-seed them. See the link in the Notes To Self section to the right.

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