A Thai take on pistou.

Cilantro and scallion pistouAs you may know, I am a huge fan of pistou. Again, if you aren’t familiar with what a pistou is, it is basically a blended sauce comprised of various herbs, garlic and oil. I’ve made so many different pistous but my favourite would have to be of the cilantro variety.

Today I mixed it up a bit and made a cilantro and scallion pistou.

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Asian pesto.

Soba noodles with chive, parsley and miso pistouWell, technically it’s a pistou but since so many people are more familiarized with the term pesto, I decided to use that term instead (a pistou is similar to a pesto but it does not contain cheese or nuts). But this recipe here is very close to a pesto, you’ll see why. But…an Asian pistou!? Yes, my friends, I was inspired. Inspired to experiment in the kitchen with yet another chilled noodle salad. This time around? Soba noodles with chive, parsley and miso pistou.

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Pistou, not pesto.

Whenever I have fresh, leafy herbs left in the kitchen that are about to go bad, I like to make pesto or pistou. Now, what is the difference between these two? One of them you are sure to be familiar with — fresh basil, parmesan cheese, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic. Pesto. But pistou? What the hell is that?

Well the basic definition of pistou is that it is like a pesto but minus the cheese and pine nuts. It is essentially an herb sauce. It was traditionally made with basil and crushed and made into a paste in a mortar and pestle (hence the name pistou). Basil. The beloved ingredient for herb-type sauces. Nah, forget that. Basil is expensive (unless you’ve discovered the box of “$3.00 – your hand” basil from the best farmer at the Oak St Farmer’s Market — my best not-so-kept secret of the summer). What about other herbs? Yes, my friends. You can make a pistou with other herbs besides basil. (!!!)

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