This French cousin of Italian pesto is one of my favourite fridge condiments. Rich in flavour and easy to prepare, this is my answer to the "what-to-do-with-leftover-tomato-paste" quandary.
I began making pistou when I first received a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I wasn't familiar with the name nor the taste, but was intrigued by the addition of this flavour agent to a simple summer soup recipe. As I became a little more creative in my cooking ways, I substituted pistou for pesto (say that three times!) as a topping for pasta, grilled chicken and fish to great success - which really just means that the kids liked it. A lot.
Pistou, adapted from Barefoot Contessa
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 head garlic, roasted
- 4 tbsp chopped basil
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Lots of fresh ground pepper (about 10 grinds of the mill)
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Scoop into a small jar and cover with 1/2" olive oil. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for 3 months.
To serve: Remove from refrigerator and stir the mixture well. Use as desired.