Zucchini-Basil Pistou

September 26, 2019

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Well here it is, the end of September already. I’m told that Autumn in upon us. However, as is usually the case in Virginia, no one bothered to forward the “it’s Fall now” memo to the weather department. Yup…we’re still baking around here with temps due to hit the lower 90’s this weekend. I know some folks are just thrilled with this turn of events, but ya’ll know that I really do not like hot weather. Not. One. Bit. So I’m going to have to take comfort in the fact that it will eventually cool off. Patience is a virtue. One good thing happening right now is zucchini is plentiful. I have a fantastic recipe to share with you today that will help you use up some of that delicious squash: Zucchini-Basil Pistou. When I first came across it on one of my favorite cooking blogs, Once Upon a Chef, I was certainly curious “What exactly is a Pistou?” I’m familiar with Pesto, but not Pistou. Turns out that a Pistou is somewhat similar to it’s Italian cousin Pesto. The main difference being that Pistou, a Provençal cold sauce, is traditionally made with garlic, basil, olive oil and salt. It does not contain the nuts found in pestos. The word “pistou” is an Occitan word which means “pounded” , which is pretty much what happens to that basil. This particular Pistou I’m sharing today contains zucchini (Yay!) in addition to the traditional ingredients. Oh and it also has a bit of lemon juice thrown in to brighten it up.

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This seemingly simple sauce is an absolutely amazing flavor enhancer! I tell you it makes everything better! You can put it on pasta, spread it on bread or over crackers, add it to scrambled eggs, serve it with grilled chicken or fish, add a dollop to dress up your veggies or just eat it straight out of the bowl. This recipe originally comes from Chef Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame, so I guess it is no surprise how mouth waveringly delicious it is! And here is the cherry on top of this recipe – you can make up a big batch while your zucchini garden is overflowing and then just freeze it! It keeps for 3 months when frozen in an airtight container. Yup – you can be savoring the scrumptious taste of the last hot and hazy days of summer well into the winter when it will (supposedly) be cold. This Pistou is easy to make, so what are you waiting for? Break out your food processor and you’ll have this tasty sauce done is just a few whirrs!

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Zucchini-Basil Pistou

  • Servings: 1 1/2 cups
  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

recipe from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 pounds zucchini (2-3 zucchini, depending on size)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

First you will need to core the zucchini to remove the inner seeds. To do this cut the zucchini in half and then slice off the ends so that each piece will stand flat. Cut off the outer flesh of the zucchini, leaving the inner seed cores behind. Discard the cores or save for soup. Cut the remaining zucchini into 1-inch pieces.
In a small saucepan, combine the zucchini pieces with the olive oil and garlic and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the basil leaves, stir, and cook for one minute. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the lemon juice and salt. Pulse until you have a chunky purée. Transfer the pistou to a small bowl and serve warm.

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The pistou can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Enjoy!

Zucchini-Basil Pistou brought to you by Runcible Eats (www.leaanjay.com)

Links for Helpful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Zucchini-Basil Pistou:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Cuisinart Pro-Classic Food Processor

 

 

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Peanut Chicken Soba Salad

May 30, 2012

Wow! Summer is here! It hovered around 90°F (32°C) for the whole of our long Memorial Day weekend. We had tickets for an outside concert on Saturday in the sweltering heat and humidity. Luckily we brought along plenty of iced down adult beverages both to keep us cool and to help improve our attitudes. One good thing I can say about the summer temperatures (and it may be the only good thing about summer that you ever hear me mutter…did I mention I despise summers in Virginia?) is that a rise in the mercury signals me to roll out one of our favourite summer chilled salads, Peanut Chicken Soba Salad.

This flavourful Asian inspired salad is a great dish to have around for those hot and steamy summer days. And it comes together very quickly cause the Lord knows I don’t want to spend any more time in a hot kitchen in the hot summer than I have to! With this recipe, you really only need to have one burner on for the amount of time it takes to cook up the soba noodles. ( 4 minutes in boiling water and they’re done!) I use the breast from one rotisserie chicken and I even purchase preshredded carrots. (now that is lazy…) Whatever. It is summer in Virginia and I’m moving both slowly and as little as possible, so if shredding can be eliminated, believe me, it will! This salad makes a deliciously light and satisfying meal and goes fabulously well with a chilled glass of white wine. (or two…or so….).

Peanut Chicken Soba Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 (6 ounce) Chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (rooster sauce) or any chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups cooked soba noodles (about 4 ounces uncooked)
  • 1 Cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 Cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup red onion, minced
  • 1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 4-5 teaspoons dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Lime wedges to garnish

Directions:

Cook and shred chicken breasts. Place shredded chicken in large bowl and set aside.

Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients. Whisk together.

Pour vinegar mixture over chicken. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Add soba noodles and the next 4 ingredients to chicken mixture. Toss well.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just prior to serving, sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top of the salad and garnish with a lime wedge or two.

Enjoy!


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