LIGHT BASIL SAUCE (sauce legere au basilic)




There’s a small clay pot of basil growing by my front door.  It’s there so I can brush my hands over the leaves releasing its sweet fragrance each time I pass it by.  Out in the big vegetable garden the basil grows thick and generous topped with tiny white flowers.  I gather it by the basket full.

Basil is the taste of summer.  This recipe for light basil sauce (sauce légère au basilie) was created by one of my favorite cook book writers, Patricia Wells.  It is a light sauce.  I use it in place of the traditional basil sauce known as pistou.  I put it on everything.  I use it as a sauce for pasta, dab it on pizza,  use it as a  gentle glaze on poached fish,  swirl it in a soup, and brush it on crusty artisan bread.

The recipe is simple.  Into your food processor put 4 plump cloves of peeled garlic, a sprinkle of fine sea salt and 4 cups loosely  packed fresh basil leaves and flowers.  Process into a paste.  With the machine running, slowly pour the oil through the tube and process again.  Taste for seasoning.  Stir again before serving.

Transfer to a small bowl and cover.  It can be stored in the refrigerator for three day

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