Remove any stalks from the basil and pound
the leaves in a mortar with the garlic and salt. When smooth and the
leaves are reduced to a green paste, pound in the cheese. Gradually add
the olive oil, stirring steadily so that it is thoroughly combined with
Alternatively, puree the basil, garlic and
salt in a blender or food processor. Add the cheese and slowly pour in
the oil with the machine running.
Pistou is very similar to Italian pesto.
Both sauces are based on fresh basil, garlic and olive oil with cheese
added. The Italian version also has pine nuts pounded into it.