I first encountered pistou in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol 2.
Pistou, a Provençal purée of fresh garlic and basil, is stirred into sautéed aubergines that have simmered with tomatoes, peppers, and onions, making a dish reminiscent of that famous Mediterranean medley, ratatouille, but much easier to produce.
It’s only easier to produce because Child’s recipe for ratatouille is so unnecessarily complicated and involved. Pistouille, for decent ordinary people, is simply ratatouille served with pistou sauce. Traditionally, pistou is made with olive oil and that recipe can be found with a simple Google search. This variation was taught to me by a Niçoise man by the name of JR who I met while traveling.
Leftover herbs. It’s hard to know what to do with them and I hate to see them go to waste. Parsley butter is a great way to use them and it gives an elegant twist to many simple dishes which can be served on the side, or as separate courses. For example:
Over lowish heat: sauté mushrooms in parsley butter until juices have been released and evaporated. Adjust seasoning and acidity (lemon, S&P). Serve.
An alternative to the above is to cook the mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil first and then add some parsley butter within the last couple of minutes of cooking. The flavour is quite different. The following can also be fried in parsley butter with good results: diced carrots (low heat for 30 or 40 minutes), potatoes (chopped to 1cm cubes, though in this case I would suggest cooking them in oil first), whole asparagus tips, or whole green beans.
If you’re concerned about your health, check out this video of Dave Asprey eating a stick of butter and talking about the health benefits. You could also go the extra mile and make your own cultured butter. Here’s a recipe.
Roocipes – 80 of Australia’s best Kangaroo recipes.pdf
“This land is cursed; the animals hop not run, birds run, not fly and the swans are black not white”. SO WROTE one of the first Europeans to set foot on Australia, Dirk Hartog, as he sailed away from the west coast in 1688.
I can’t wait to get home and embrace the native foods of my home country, something I hardly did when I lived in Australia. I recently found this PDF floating around the internet and it looks like it’s got some pretty interesting recipes. It’s mostly fusion food, but exciting none the less.