Pistou Recipe


Pistou is an infinitely adaptable condiment from Provence. A classic pistou consists of four simple ingredients: basil, garlic, olive oil and salt, but is quite accommodating to various herbs or the addition of nuts and/or cheese (which would make it more akin to Italy’s pesto).

Pistou is most commonly associated with the Provençal dish, Soupe au Pistou, but it can be served with pasta, as a spread for bread, over  steamed vegetables or grilled fish, or as I prefer, as a dressing for tomato salad.

This recipe is mostly a guideline – feel free to scale up or scale down, vary the herbs (I particularly like parsley and mint in combination with the basil), modify the amount of garlic or lemon, or perhaps add parmesan or feta cheese, walnuts, almonds or pine nuts.

Pistou Recipe

 15 minutes (with food processor)

Ingredients:

1-2 cloves Garlic, peeled, germ removed

Pinch Salt

2 cups Basil leaves

1/4 cup Olive oil (to taste and desired consistency)

Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Method:

You can take the classic approach and use a mortar and pestle, which takes a bit longer but with creamier, more luscious results, or simply use a food processor.

Using mortar and pestle:

  1. Grind garlic and salt until garlic becomes creamy.
  2. Add basil leaves – you may want to break them apart first – and crush leaves into garlic until a paste forms.
  3. Drizzle in olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the pistou reaches a smooth, sauce-like consistency.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning. You may want to add as splash of lemon juice or a pinch more salt. You may also want to thin the pistou with a bit more olive oil.

Using a food processor:

  1. Add garlic, salt and basil. Pulse a few times until leaves begin to break down.
  2. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the pistou reaches a smooth, sauce-like consistency.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning. You may want to add as splash of lemon juice or a pinch more salt. You may also want to thin the pistou with a bit more olive oil.

Enjoy this classic French Recipe. Our chefs love to make this dish for our guests while they stay at one of our luxury villas