"If my cuisine were to be defined by just one taste, it would be that of subtle, aromatic, extra-virgin olive oil.” -- Alain Ducasse
Kicking off the first day of summer with a fat basil harvest and a batch of pistou, the French sauce made with pounded herbs, garlic, and olive oil. Think ‘pesto’ without the pine nuts. I guess I could be French -- I skip the luxury of pine nuts when I make the summer staple, and add a little tomato. For full French immersion, I made David Lebovitz’s pistou recipe to commemorate the upcoming chez Julia festivities. While the herbs are abundant in my corner of the world, the olive trees in France are beginning to bloom. With a little help from Mother Nature, olive harvest will be dawning in October. I won’t wish precious summer away, but it’s a joy to imagine what is coming next.
adaped from davidlebovitz.com
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- pinch of coarse salt
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
Blend the garlic with a large pinch of salt in the container of a food processor. Add the basil leaves and process until finely chopped. Drizzle the olive oil through the top tube of the processor, then add the tomato and cheese. Pulse the machine until the tomato is incorporated. Serve with vegetable soup or over freshly cooked pasta.
makes about 1 cup