What Is Pistou?

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Are you curious to know what is pistou? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about pistou in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is pistou?

Embark on a culinary journey as we explore the flavors and uses of pistou, a vibrant and aromatic sauce that adds a touch of Provencal magic to various dishes.

What Is Pistou?

Pistou, pronounced “pee-stoo,” is a Provençal cold sauce hailing from the south of France. Bursting with fresh flavors, this sauce is a cousin to the well-known Italian pesto, sharing similarities but featuring its unique character.

What Is Basil Pistou: The Heart Of The Sauce

At the core of pistou lies basil – a fragrant herb that infuses the sauce with a delightful aroma and a burst of freshness. Basil pistou celebrates the essence of this herb, elevating the sauce to a culinary masterpiece.

What Is Pistou Sauce: A Symphony Of Flavors

Pistou sauce is a harmonious blend of:

  • Fresh Basil: The star ingredient, contributing a peppery and slightly sweet note.
  • Garlic: Adding a pungent kick and depth to the sauce.
  • Olive Oil: Providing richness and a smooth consistency.
  • Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese: Introducing a savory and salty element.
  • Pine Nuts: Offering a nutty crunch to balance the flavors.

What Is Pistou Soup: A Provencal Classic

Pistou is often showcased in a beloved Provençal dish – soupe au pistou. This hearty vegetable soup features a generous dollop of pistou stirred in just before serving, enhancing the dish with a burst of herbal goodness.

What Is Pistou Used For: Versatility In The Kitchen

Pistou is a versatile companion in the kitchen, elevating various dishes, including:

  • Pasta: Toss it with warm pasta for a quick and flavorful meal.
  • Vegetables: Drizzle over roasted or grilled veggies for added depth.
  • Grilled Meats: Serve as a condiment for grilled meats, infusing them with Provencal charm.
  • Sandwiches: Spread it on sandwiches or use it as a dip for crusty bread.

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What Is Pistou Pesto: Drawing Comparisons

While pistou and pesto share similarities, they have distinct characteristics. Pistou usually excludes pine nuts and uses only Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, resulting in a lighter and brighter flavor profile compared to the creamier and nuttier pesto.

What Is Pistou Pasta: A Quick And Flavorful Dish

Coat cooked pasta with pistou, adding a handful of cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs for a simple yet vibrant pasta dish. The sauce effortlessly clings to the pasta, creating a delightful symphony of flavors.

Pistou Vs Pesto: Decoding The Differences

While both sauces boast basil as a key component, the main distinctions lie in the absence of pine nuts in pistou and the exclusive use of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. These nuances give each sauce its unique character.

Pistou Recipe: Crafting The Essence At Home

Creating pistou at home is a delightful culinary adventure. Combine fresh basil, garlic, grated cheese, and pine nuts in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until a smooth consistency is achieved. Adjust the ingredients to suit your taste preferences.

Pistou Ingredients: A Symphony Of Freshness

  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese
  • Pine Nuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pistou Pronunciation: Embracing The French Elegance

“Pistou” is pronounced “pee-stoo,” capturing the elegant simplicity of its French origin.


In conclusion, pistou is a celebration of fresh and aromatic flavors, bringing the essence of Provence to your table. Whether drizzled over pasta, stirred into soup, or used as a condiment, pistou adds a touch of culinary elegance to your creations. Elevate your dishes with this vibrant Provençal sauce and savor the delightful symphony of flavors it brings to your palate.


Is Pistou The Same As Pesto?

Pistou is an uncooked sauce that comes from France’s Provence region and typically contains basil, garlic and olive oil. Modern versions often add cheese, generally a hard cheese like Parmesan, and less commonly add diced tomato. Unlike its Italian cousin pesto, pistou does not include pine nuts or other nuts.

What Is The Meaning Of Pistou?

noun. pis·​tou. pēsˈtü plural -s. : a vegetable soup served with a puree of garlic, herbs, oil, and cheese and often tomatoes.

What Does Au Pistou Contain?

Soupe Au Pistou is a traditional Southern French soup usually made with summer fresh veggies like zucchini, tomatoes and green beans that are simmered with slowly simmered white beans and potatoes and usually pasta. The Pistou is a herb paste made from basil, garlic and olive oil (and cheese of some sort.)

What Is Herb Pistou?

A traditional French pistou is made with fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil but no pine nuts (as in Italian pesto). The addition of chives and mint or lemon balm keeps the pistou a brilliant grassy green. Pistou turns into a luscious marinade when mixed with several tablespoons of oil and vinegar.

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What Is A Pistou

What Is Basil Pistou

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What Is Pistou Used For

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What Is Pistou