Pistachios in wooden bowl with copy space
Pistachios in wooden bowl with copy space

11 interesting ways to use pistachios in your cooking

Pistachios put the punch into a myriad of meals, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Sam Wylie-Harris
Friday 26 February 2021 07:30

Pistachios are the kind of kernels that look as good as they taste.

Behind their neutral shell, these vibrant green nuts are often cited as a superfood for their health benefits – they’re rich in nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, fibre and high in protein.

These little nuggets of goodness grow on trees in warm, dry climates, and we’ve been devouring them since day dot.

So deliciously moreish, you can happily munch away on pistachios as a salted snack until the end of time – or at least until the next bowl is proffered.

But in honour of Pistachio Day (February 26),  we’ve prised a whole bunch of pistachios out of their shells to inspire some truly terrific dishes, from starters, to mains to much, much more…

1. Prosciutto and rocket salad

This sophisticated salad comes in the shape of hard boiled eggs, green leaves, Parma ham, grated Grana Padano and olives, but it’s the chopped pistachios that give it extra bite – and chime with the savoury, nutty flavours of the cheese.

2.  Wild yeast bread with pistachios

Similar to sourdough, wild yeast bread often includes batches of dried fruit or other ingredients such as herbs, fresh fruit, or for purposes here, pistachios.

3. Blood orange, bitter leaf and pistachio salad

Blood oranges lend themselves brilliantly to salads, and we’re especially drawn to this one with halloumi, topped off with the crunch of pistachio.

4. Indian sweetcorn fritters

Plant based diet: Tick. Vegan: Tick. Wondering what to cook this weekend? We think these Indian sweetcorn fritters spiked with pistachios tick all our healthy, veggie boxes.

5. Seared swordfish steaks with pistachio olive tapenade

It’s hard to top this famous Sicilian dish that’s loved for its zesty freshness, but if you had to, a tangy pistachio olive tapenade spooned on top is just the ticket.

6.  Pasta with asparagus and pistachios

OK, it may not be in season, quite yet (officially British asparagus season starts in late April); but there’s no reason why you can’t add these flavoursome green shoots to your pistachio recipe book and start counting down the weeks… we are.

7. Pâté and pistachios

Country pâté and pistachios go hand in hand, all that’s missing is a delicious glass of Beaujolais, cheers!

8. Soft Rasmalai

An Indian dessert famed for its gentle sweetness and sometimes saved for special occasions and weddings, pistachios are the cherry on the cake.

9. Lemon scones with pistachios

If you’re asking yourself: ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ you’re not alone. Why limit yourself to a classic scone or lemon drizzle cake when you can unite the two, and throw some chopped pistachios into the mix?

10. Goat’s cheese with pistachios, raisins and honey

If you love a warm goat’s cheese salad, go one step further and feature it on your dessert menu, with the added bonus of pistachios and some chilli flakes for a spicy kick. We’re in.

11. Pistachio pinwheels

All that’s missing on these swirl cookies is a scoop of pistachio ice cream. Yum.

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