What is a pistou? A pistou is French and is an uncooked sauce that is meant to give freshness to a dish. It’s usually made with olive oil and basil. This pistou is made with fresh mint, fresh parsley, scallion, extra-virgin olive oil, water and salt. When serving the soup, a dollop of pistou is added and gently swirled on top of the soup.
I found the soup to be very creamy, despite the fact that there’s no cream or thickener added to the soup. The soup was light and had a lovely taste and a hint of sweetness from the carrots. Both my husband and I weren’t particularly fond of the addition of the pistou as the mint was dominating. I would have preferred pistou made with parsley and basil. Another option could be a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil or candied pecans. I’ll start with the swirl of olive oil when I serve it again.
I finally prepared the last of the bok choy! The two heads my daughter shared with me were large. One evening I forgot to purchased chopped spinach for a recipe, so I used shredded bok choy in its place. I did find a recipe by Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman, for Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Baby Bok Choy. For the recipe you’ll need mirin, low-sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, light brown sugar, sesame oil, scallions, vegetable oil, fresh garlic cloves, fresh ginger, pork tenderloin, baby bok choy and kosher salt.
The pork is marinated in a mixture of mirin, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, scallions, vegetable oil, ginger and garlic. I marinated the pork for just over two hours, but it can go for 24. I grilled the meat until the internal temperature reached 145°. The marinade is poured into a pan, boiled and reduced a bit to make a sauce for the pork.
While the pork was cooking, I cut my large bok choy into 1-inch pieces and sautéed it in a skillet with vegetable oil, fresh ginger and garlic.
What a tasty preparation for the pork. The combination of ingredients for the marinade gave the pork flavor a nice complexity and was delicious. The sauce was a wonderful enhancement to the pork and accompanying rice that I served alongside. This is a great do ahead recipe for this summer’s barbecue season.
Summer-Squash Soup with Parsley-Mint Pistou
Adapted from Gourmet, September 2006
From the website “Smitten Kitchen”
For squash soup
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lbs. yellow summer squash, halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 yellow-fleshed potato (1/2 pound), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 large scallion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Make soup: Melt butter in a 6- to 8-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat, then cook onion with salt, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add squash, carrots, potato, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool soup, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Working in batches, puree; soup in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and transfer back to pot. Or, you can use an immersion blender to do the job right inside the pot. Thin with water if desired; simmer 3 minutes more. Season with salt.
Make pistou* while vegetables simmer: Pulse mint, parsley, and scallion in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a stream, then add water and salt, blending until incorporated.
To serve: Swirl one tablespoon pistou into each bowl of soup.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Baby Bok Choy
Recipe by Ree Drummond
The Food Network
Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 pork tenderloins
1-1/2 pounds baby bok choy, halved
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.