Each summer Patricia Wells makes sure that her basil crop is abundant, and then she bottles that summertime flavor in the form of pistou, or pesto, an olive oil, basil and garlic sauce. If you like, you can add ground pine nuts and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the sauce.Even if you make this in the food processor, it is better to mince the garlic by hand. In addition to flavoring vegetables, this pesto is great tossed with pasta, stirred into vegetable soups, dolloped on fish or spread on pieces of toasted baguette.Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips

March 1996


Recipe Summary test

Makes 1/2-3/4 cup


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place the garlic in a mortar, add sea salt to taste and mash to a paste with a pestle. Add the basil, little by little, pounding with the pestle until thoroughly ground.

  • Stir in the oil until incorporated. (Alternatively, grind the garlic, salt and basil into a paste in a food processor. With the machine on, drizzle in the oil and process to a paste.) Stir the pesto just before serving.

Make Ahead

Cover the pesto and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 6 months. Before serving, bring the pesto to room temperature and stir again.