Pistou is a French version of pesto but without pine nuts. The pine nuts make traditional pesto somewhat expensive to prepare but this delicious recipe uses almonds which are far more affordable.
Dr. D. made for me late in the summer when he harvested the yellow squash from his garden but the ingredients can be found any time of year to enjoy this amazing stew. This recipe comes from one of our favorite cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health.
Summer (or anytime!) Pistou
For the stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper (omitted)
2 cups green beans cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
4 cups chopped yellow summer squash
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15 ounce) cans red or white beans, undrained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the almond-herb pesto:
1 cup toasted almonds
1 cup packed fresh basil
2 cups packed fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoon water, optional
Make the stew:
In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and bell peppers, and cook for about 3 minutes. And the green beans and broth (or water) and simmer until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the yellow squash, tomatoes, and beans. Return to a simmer and cook until all of the vegetables are tender.
Make the Pesto:
Combine the almonds, basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth. Add water if you would like a thinner consistency (Dr. D. did this).
Serve the stew topped with a generous dollop of the pesto.
6 to 8 servings