I overheard someone the other day mention that you should never make a garlicky dish for a date night … hogwash! Garlic is the way to a person’s heart. Garlic is love. (Admittedly, I’m also the type of person who buys large bags of garlic at Costco and uses all the heads before they even thinking of going bad. Perhaps I’m biased.)

I’ve also been growing some basil this summer. I might have five basil plants. Oops. I love my little urban garden. What I can say?


Pistou is the France’s version of Italy’s pesto. While I love Italian pesto, I don’t love the price tag for the pine nuts you typically see in pesto. Pistou seemed the natural thing to use some of this basil up while enjoying my affinity for garlic since it’s very similar to pesto but does not use pine nuts.

While both pesto and pistou traditionally have parmesan, I skipped the cheese to cut back on the salt and fat.



I also love making sauces like this because they’re so easy. Turn on the food processor for a second… and you’re done!




I used the pistou in this Chicken, Chickpea, and Pesto salad from Martha Stewart, substituting the pesto with the pistou.

P1030676P1030679After combining all the ingredients, you just squeeze a lemon over the salad to add a little acid – it’s so perfect. 




  • 1 large bunch of basil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt + pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes


  1. Put the basil, tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes in a food processor. Puree. Season with salt and pepper.

Serving Suggestions: 

  • topping for grilled veggies, such as yellow squash, zucchini, and green beans
  • topping or marinade for fish
  • sauce for pizza, pasta, or sandwich spread
  • salad dressing (just add the juice of a lemon or some red wine vinegar)
  • dip for veggies

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