4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups loosely packed
fresh basil leaves (1 bunch)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
about ¼ teaspoon salt flakes


1. Puree the ingredients in a small food processor until a smooth paste is formed. (or, pound the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle, then start adding the basil, pounding until pasty, and blend in the olive oil.)

2. serve immediately or, like pesto, cover with a thin layer of olive oil and refrigerate for up to 5 days. it will freeze successfully if done in small amounts


* You will needcutting board, cook’s knife, cup measure and food processor or mortar and pestle.

* Pistou is the French version of Italy’s pesto. Therefore they are very similar in quantities and usage. The main difference is the French pistou does not have the nuts and parmesan cheese included in the pesto.

* Pistou is associated with the French provincial soup similar to minestrone. The pistou is served on the side or added to the individual bowl.

* This is the most traditional and basic pistou recipe; a common variation has the addition of ½ cup grated parmesan cheese stirred in at the end.

* Like many traditional recipes, there are many variations based on the area where the raw ingredients are sourced. Therefore it should come as no surprise that some recipes for pistou contain parmesan, nuts, tomato or even hamany of which would be considered correct depending on which provincial cook you spoke to.

* See pesto for more tips on how to use pistou


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