Tuesday, July 17, 2018

You say Pesto, the French say Pistou

Photo by Mary A. Nelen

It was a cry for help.

Desperation was on the menu that day. My friend had a confession. 

Too much basil; basil in salads, basil pesto, basil pesto cubes in ice
trays and after a month of green, stuff fell apart. Her menus, like
the cuticles of her nails, were stained bright green. If you're
witnessing an unseemly dependence on basil, its time to break the
stranglehold of single herb syndrome and look to Provence.

True Proven├žal folks will stir pistou—which is similar to pesto, but
lighter with a variety of herbs and made without nuts—into the soup until it’s completely dispersed.

I like to add a dollop to the middle and gently let it spread so I can
still taste the pistou, which makes a nice contrast to the vegetables
and broth. Plus it’s traditional to pound a small tomato into the pistou.

The Soupe au Pistou, vegetable soup from Provence, is made when herbs hurry to flower and small tomatoes say "put me in coach...."