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Shelled, Roasted and Unsalted Pistachios

I purchased 2 large bags of roasted and unsalted pistachios for use in pistachio ice cream - I only used one bag.

Do you have any great ideas for about 2 cups of pistachios?

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    1. Nothing too original--and definitely not two cups worth--but toasted they are wonderful on top of roasted beets or carrots or brussels sprouts or asparagus or on salad (esp. those with some apple or pear or dried cranberries in them) or ice cream sundaes (wonderful w/caramel or dark chocolate); I recently used them in a crust for a lime tart (courtesy of Christina Mason). They're great in granola, in cookies (dark choc. chip & pistachio, mmmmm), in biscotti. I once used them in a delicious Indian raita. They're great w/peaches--and tonight I'm planning on putting them on top of ice cream and strawberries.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nomadchowwoman

        Love them toasted on beets. Especially nice is toasted-and-ground on beets. Gives a little bit of that rich nutty crunch in every bite without making you feel like a rabbit.

      2. David Leibovitz's absinthe cake uses them - and absinthe or other licorice-flavored aperitif - and is fantastic. I suppose you could use amaretto or something more nuttish if you don't like licorice flavor. You could also use them i/o hazelnuts in brutti ma buoni Italian nut cookies.

          1. re: weezycom

            Ooh now that sounds just too good.

              1. re: krisrishere

                Just take a peanut brittle recipe and sub in pistachios.

                I've also done it with cashews (yum) and pecans (yummiest thus far).

                1. re: weezycom

                  Pecan brittle sounds unbelievably good. And dangerous to be in the same room with!

          2. Sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt with either sea salt or honey, makes a great breakfast.

            1. I have a white chocolate chip pistachio cookie that's a huge hit at Christmas. I typically use salted pistachios, because I like the salty balance to the super-sweet white chocolate chips, but it's really good with unsalted, too. I'll dig up the recipe when I get home.

              1. - they make a delicious crust for fish or chicken
                - use them to make pesto
                - add to homemade granola (they're great with dried cranberries or apricots)
                - biscotti
                - baklava
                - grind into pistachio butter

                13 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Do you have a good pistachio butter recipe that isn't sweet? I dream about the pistachio butter served at Lupa, coating roasted beets. Sooooo delicious.

                  Also, in what kind(s) of pesto do you use pistachios?

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                    i've never had the Lupa pistachio butter, but you can doctor it up many ways to suit your preferences. everything from salt to cinnamon to lemon zest will temper the sweetness. you can even add some walnuts - the bitterness provides a nice balance.

                    for pesto, i like many different variations - it usually depends on what i'm serving with it. basil, mint & arugula all work really well for the greenery, and the cheese might be Asiago, Pecorino, Parm, or even Manchego. of course, regardless of the herbs & cheese, there's definitely garlic ;) most of them benefit from a hit of lemon as well.

                    Alton Brown has a terrific recipe that uses several herbs:

                    this is a neat one too - the asparagus is a surprisingly terrific addition:

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          That asparagus/pistachio/pasta recipe link is right up my alley, yum.

                          My somewhat stodgey non-partying parents used to have a big bag of the dyed red pistachios and a bottle of NY state sparkling burgundy wine for their New Years Eve celebration, at home, with each other and Guy Lombardi. I guess that was all the party they needed. Ah, love and marriage, simpler times, what a life.

                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            since my pasta-eating days are long behind me, i've had to get a little creative with ways to use recipes like that one. it's terrific on salmon, and - believe it or not - crab cakes.

                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                              Talk about bringing back memories - my dad used to love the red ones (and insisted the white ones weren't as good, which they probably aren't -I think the red ones were imported, perhaps from Iran - they were really quite expensive - this was in Canada in the 60's). I'm from the bandleader's home town, and guys from the band were friends with my great-uncles and used to play on the piano in our house when they were just starting out!

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Yes, I wonder whatever happened to those red ones. The first time I ate them, I was a kid, and we were visiting my aunt and uncle in Dallas, TX. The adults would drop us kids off at Target w/$5 each and let us "shop" for a couple of hours (they'd probably get arrested today but we loved it). Ever one to follow my nose, I blew my wad at the nut counter, on those very red pistachios, and was hooked. Soon enough, they were available at home, but I don't remember when the reds were replaced by the whites and the fingerstaining ceased.

                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                  You can still get them in Chinese stores - we do sometimes just for the fun of it!

                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                    I'm inclined to buy the white ones now, as I have fear of red dye.

                                    According to Wiki, the nuts were dyed red back in the time when they were hand picked, as human hands stain the shells. Now they are machine harvested, so dyeing is no longer necessary.

                                    Here's a Wiki tidbit about pistachios that comes under the "that's crazy" catagory: Bulk container shipments of pistachio nuts are prone to self-heating and spontaneous combustion because of their high fat and low water content.

                                    Who knew.

                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                      I did...but I'm in the shipping biz! ;-)

                                    2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                      I remember when I was really young I would rub the red pistachio shells on my lips to make lipstick :) Then I it would take days for it to come off.

                                      1. re: krisrishere

                                        Me too! good memories. Nowadays kids wouldn't be let near pistachios - choking hazard...

                      1. I chop them up and put them on my salad. Or how about this: Shred brussel sprouts. Cook them down slightly with bacon and garlic. Add chopped pistachios, red onion, a little sherry vinegar, grey poupon, salt and pepper. It's a great warm salad! I had this at a restaurant and duplicated it. They add dried cranberries, but I'm not a fan.