Ingredient Spotlight: Buying, Storing and Cooking Pistachios

May 7, 2013
Veronica Brandy

cooking with pistachios

The pistachio is a small tree originally from Middle East that produces a pretty green nut often sold in its split tan-colored shell, which breaks naturally as the nuts ripen. The nut is often eaten whole, either fresh or roasted and salted, and is also used in ice cream, pistachio butter, pistachio paste and various sweet confections such as baklava, pistachio chocolate, pistachio halva, biscotti. Pistachio is very popular as a topping for many desserts, custards, ice creams, nougats, stewed fruit or crumbles.

How to buy and store pistachios

Pistachios peak season runs from september to november, but they are widely available all year round in supermarkets. Buy pistachios already opened when possible. If not, Choose pistachio nuts that are split open at one end. Unopened shells are a sign of immaturity. The greener the nutmeat, the better the flavor! For fresh nuts, store pistachios in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Rosted pistachios can stay in their packaging for several weeks.

Cooking with pistachios

Pistachios add a unique and distinctive flavor to any conventional dishes: roast them with Brussels sprouts, blend some into your basil or arugula pesto, sprinkle your seasonal salads, or glaze them and serve over fruit.

Best cooking method

The thin, edible skin can be easily removed from the nut by blanching: boil down pistachios nuts in water for a few minutes then drain and dry. Then, you can do what you want: roasting, grilling, grinding…

Tips

If your pistachios have lost their crispness, roast them in your oven at 200°f for 10 to 15 minutes.

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