Pistou, and Pesto

Traditional garnishing paste, that comes from Côte d'Azur.
Beautifully colored, intensely aromatic, and very tasty; this Provencal specialty, called Pistou, is made from fresh garlic cloves, and basil leaves, first crushed in mortar, then mixed with quality Olive oil, and seasoned with salt, and pepper.

Italian version (Pesto), starts with the same base ingredients as Pistou, but it also includes chopped pine nuts, and cheese. Quick, and easy to make, -if adding any, use Parmesan, or other non-stringy cheese.
Some of the ready made Pestos are great, however, -yours, freshly made one, will always be the best!
Ingredients - ( approx. 2 cups.
3 cups, tightly packed, fresh 
basil leaves
3-4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup, pine nuts, chopped
1/3 cup, Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup, Olive oil
freshly ground salt & pepper, to taste
(1) Rinse, spin dry, and roughly chop basil.
(2) Peel, and dice garlic.
(3) In mortar, crush small batches of garlic, and basil leaves, then promptly transfer the paste to a bowl, and blend with Olive oil.
(4) Season with salt, and pepper, and serve immediately (or see Other Notes, below).
Serve your Pesto (or Pistou) spread on bread, fresh, and rustic, or just toasted.
It's great mixed with cooked pasta. Boost flavor of your Summer vegetable soup, or salad dressing with a tablespoon of either Pistou, or Pesto. I just love to spread it on toasted baguette slices, and top it with with diced, ripe tomatoes, seasoned with salt, and pepper.
Other Notes 1
(1) Flesh of freshly crushed basil, just like that of cut apple, and avocado, will react with air, and start going dark. To stop this, mix your paste promptly with Olive oil.
(2) Once prepared, store it in a jar, or some other container for a while. To help keep it bright green, top the jar with a little extra layer of Olive oil, it will cut access to the air, and seal it well.
(3) If you happen to grow lots of basil, you might consider freezing batches of Pistou in bags. Use food processor instead of mortar, and pestle, it will speed things up a bit. Pistou freezes well. Use it later, to make more Pesto by adding nuts and freshly ground cheese, when ready to consume.
Other Notes 2
If you are not familiar with cups, assume an empty, 15 ½ oz. size can to have 2 cups capacity (1 cup =8oz. =227g.),
tsp = teaspoon,
tbsp = tablespoon,
1lb = 453 grams
for more help try these links:
Ounces-to-grams conversions
Online Conversions
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Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors: blogger, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, Jasmine&Roses, metric-conversions.org, onlineconversion.com, Rita Crane Photography. Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., s'kat, temperatureconverter, TMR Davies, VROG in Bristol, W.D. Williams

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