At school, we talk about food. A lot. The three of us--my two teammates and I--love to cook, buy local and in season, and share recipes and ideas. Last week the conversation centered around basil and what to do with our already abundant harvests.
Pesto, of course.
But Cindy's husband doesn't care for pine nuts, and Kate said she doesn't either; the nuts make the pesto mealy. She suggested pistou--a simpler variation of pesto--basil and olive oil blended to the desired consistency.
Pistou is an olive oil based basil sauce from the south of France that closely resembles pesto. The way to make true pistou is by hand: tear the basil leaves into pieces first, then grind the leaves against the side of a mortar with a pestle to puree them into a silky, creamy sauce.
Kate also shared some of her favorite ways to enjoy pistou, and the one I tried for dinner this evening was poached eggs on a stale baguette drizzled with pistou. I confess to using my tiny Cuisinart instead of a mortar and pestle, but the result was excellent. Peasant fare, to be sure, but so, so delicious.
Do you have a favorite pistou recipe? I'd love to hear it!