When you work in a restaurant, you tend to make a list of tasks you enjoy and others that you hate. I remember taking my sweet time stuffing squash blossoms while working quickly to finish halving baby cherry tomatoes. One item on the prep list that many cooks disliked was making the basil pistou. Pistou is a sauce very similar to pesto except for the lack of nuts. Traditionally, pistou is prepared with a mortar and pestle, hence the dislike of many who had to prepare it. Since I’m not working in the restaurant anymore, I can take the shortcut and prepare this pistou in a flash, while still preserving the flavor. Top it on any protein like this salmon quinoa salad with basil pistou and you have one incredibly flavorful salad!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I put together this recipe while cleaning out my fridge, but enjoyed it so much, I had to share it with you.
Quinoa is a great source of protein. It’s versatile and can even cook in the rice cooker. Throw it together with charred shishito peppers, sweet corn, and upland cress and you have a summer bowl of flavors. Add pan-fried salmon and homemade basil pistou and you have a completely different yet equally delicious dish!
Basil pistou is a great alternative for those who may be allergic to nuts. It’s a bit tart and sweet from the tomatoes while still preserving the flavors of the basil. If you have a mortar and pestle, by all means, use it (some say it tastes better when prepared the traditional way). Otherwise, use a food processor to make this condiment in a flash.
Vegetarian? Skip the fish but mix the pistou right into the salad. Gluten-free? Well, this is the perfect dish for you! Looking for something healthy? Look no further! This salmon quinoa salad with basil pistou is the dish that meets all requirements and still tastes great.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.