April 7, 2021

Vegetable Pistou

Recipe: Eric Ripert

Try this Vegetable Pistou recipe from the new cookbook, Vegetable Simple.

My aunt Monique would make this every year in the middle of August. While it’s a simple dish, it’s a true homage to vegetables and became such an occasion in my family that my cousins and I would get excited when my aunt would start making it. Our whole family would gather at long tables in the garden on those warm August evenings in Provence to eat this pistou together. Don’t be intimated by the number of ingredients. The recipe is lengthy, but the bulk of the work is prepping and cutting the vegetables, which you can start a day in advance.


  • ½ cup dried small white beans (navy beans)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • ¼ small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • ½ medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 12 to 15 green beans, ends trimmed, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves (about 1 large bunch)
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Place the beans in a bowl, add water to cover by 1 inch, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain the beans and transfer them to a medium pot. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook at a simmer until the beans are very tender, about 1 hour. Once the beans are almost cooked, season them with salt and white pepper, then stir in the onion, carrot, zucchini, green beans and tomato, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Set up a bowl of ice and water nearby. Blanch the basil in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain and quickly transfer to the ice bath. When cool, gently squeeze out the excess water and transfer to a blender. Add the garlic and with the blender on low speed, slowly stream in the oil. Purée the pesto and season with salt and white pepper.
  4. Stir the pesto into the beans and vegetables, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Divide the pistou among four warmed bowls and serve hot.

Nigel Parry


Excerpted from Vegetable Simple by Eric Ripert. Copyright © 2021 Eric Ripert. Photography by Nigel Parry. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.