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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1/2 cup 1x


The classic French pistou is an olive oil and basil sauce that’s similar to pesto, but even simpler! It adds a burst of freshness to any dish.


  • 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. If you want to preserve the bright green basil color for leftovers, see the notes below on How to Blanch Basil*. Otherwise, go to Step 2.
  2. Using a small blender or immersion blender, blend the olive oil, garlic and salt. Then add the basil leaves and pulse until a chunky sauce forms. Make sure not to over-blend. Or, grind the ingredients in a mortar and pestle until a chunky sauce forms.


*How to blanch basil: This preserves the bright green color. Start a small pot of water to boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Remove the basil leaves from the stem and wash them. Once the water is boiling, add the basil and boil until bright green, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Pistou, pesto without pine nuts, pesto recipe without pine nuts, pesto without nuts