Pesto Italiano/French Pistou

Pesto Italiano

Ingredients

40 Fresh Basil Leaves (roughly 2 cups, gently packed)

3 Garlic Cloves, chopped

¼ c Pine Nuts (or just shy of)

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, reserved

½ tsp Salt

¼ tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper

*The classic recipes for both pesto and pistou of these call for shredded cheese.  Pesto often calls for parmesan or Asiago and Pistou for aged gouda or Mimolette.  You may use these, adding 2 -4 tbsp, as you may desire.  For a Raw Vegan variety you may do as I and omit it or add ½ to 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast.  Personally, I find that any of these only detract from the strong flavor I adore in pesto.


French Pistou

Ingredients

4½ cups Fresh Basil, gently packed

2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

¼ cup Grape Tomatoes

⅛ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, reserved

1 tsp Salt

*The classic recipes for both pesto and pistou of these call for shredded cheese.  Pesto often calls for parmesan or Asiago and Pistou for aged gouda or Mimolette.  You may use these, adding 2 -4 tbsp, as you may desire.  For a Raw Vegan variety you may do as I and omit it or add ½ to 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast.  Personally, I find that any of these only detract from the strong flavor I adore in pesto.


Instructions

Often made with pestle and mortar, Pesto & Pistou can also be made in a food processor.  I process all ingredients without the olive oil first as too wet a mix can make it difficult to get the basil to break down.

Food Processor Method: Process all ingredients except olive oil until completely broken down.  Add olive oil and process until fully combined.

Pestle & Mortar Method:  Place basil in a small bowl.  Crush garlic and place with all other ingredients in mortar.

Begin grinding ingredients with the pestle, adding leaves a little at a time as you continue to break them down until all have been incorporated.

*Note:  While you don’t want a chunky pesto, you also don’t want something that’s been too overly processed.  Also, pesto & pistou are best enjoyed fresh.  If you make more than you believe you can finish quickly, put the remainder of the pesto in an airtight glass jar.  Pack down and coat the top with a bit of olive oil.  Seal the container tightly and store in the refrigerator.  The top layer may start to turn a darker green/brownish color.  This is ok.  Just mix in or discard.  Once all or most of it is this color, just toss it and make some more; even if it’s still safe, it’ll probably be terribly bland.  Alternatively, you can portion these in muffin liners, freezer, and store in a freezer bag for single-serve use.

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