French Potatoes Pistou

The French version of Italian pesto - stuffed into twice-baked potatoes.


4 Idaho potatoes

3 tablespoons butter, softened

Olive oil for brushing

4 cups basil leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons tomato paste

About 1/2 cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  With a serving fork, poke a few holes in each potato, place on paper towel and microwave 15 minutes, or until soft.  Cut each one in half lengthwise and scoop out insides into a medium bowl.  Mash roughly with a spoon and mix in the softened butter.  Brush each potato skin with olive oil, inside and out.  Roast in oven 5 - 8 minutes, ,or until crispy.

Meanwhile,  make pistou:  Place basil leaves in food processor and chop finely.  Add salt, pepper, garlic, Parmesan cheese and tomato paste.  Process until smooth.  Slowly drizzle olive oil in until desired consistency.  Spoon 1/3 cup pistou into the potato mixture and mix.  Stuff potatoes and return to oven to warm through, about 8 minutes.

Serves 4 - 8.