Sometimes for funsies I peruse the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)…
Do you remember that moment when food became something more than just a substance to fill the void of hunger? Do you remember precisely what component of a dish brought that captivating discovery?
For me the enchanting ingredient was Genovese basil. The first time my tongue discerned and truly enjoyed the feel and flavour of fresh, sweet basil, I was beyond smitten. I was taken. And so began my fixation on how simple and pure food, like this unassuming green leaf, could bring a transformative gustatory experience.
Basil is my gateway food. It’s the food that opened up for me an appreciation for savouring the aromatic, for understanding that less is more, and for honing my palate to groove on great things.
Given my love for basil, my repertoire of blog recipes isn’t complete without sharing this one for Pistou. Pistou is a sauce, a lot like a pesto, but lacking the pinenuts and hard cheese. All you need is fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Pistou is a condiment typically eaten in the Provence region France, and it adds superb flavour. One traditional Provençal dish is Soupe au Pistou, and it just so happens that Stephanie A. Meyer of Fresh Tart has an AIP-friendly Soup au Pistou.
I like to make a batch of Pistou, and, provided I don’t dip into it too frequently and fervently, I freeze small individual teaspoon-full amounts in ice cube trays. When you’re sautéing a pan of greens or veg, just pop in one or two of these flavah-flave nuggets (photograph below) and enjoy. Pistou also makes a great topping for baked fish or even meatballs!
But these days, my favourite way to delight in Pistou is as a dressing for this Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. Bomb diggety, I tell ya. Or as they say in France, bon appétit!
Pistou (AIP, Paleo, SCD, Whole30, Vegan)
Author: Martine Partridge
Recipe type: Condiment / Sauce
- 2 c fresh basil, packed
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ tsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ¼ c EVOO
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Or finely chop the basil leaves and mix in the garlic, salt, lemon juice, and EVOO by hand. (I prefer the smoother texture rendered by processing or blending.)
- Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or freeze, as suggested, in individual portions in an ice cube tray.