Pistachios are super versatile, and add a nutty crunch to almost any recipe—flavorful pesto, vanilla-almond ice cream, and creamy guacamole are some of our favorites.
Food & Wine
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Custard Phyllo Pie With Almonds and Pistachios
For this unusual open-face pie from executive pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira of Daniel in New York City, buttered phyllo is layered with nuts and baked, then drenched with syrup and filled with rich custard.
"My favorite flavor is crunchy," Alex Stupak says. To add that texture to his excellent, otherwise classic guacamole, he stirs in toasted chopped pistachios, which also contribute a delicious nuttiness.
Relishes typically contain cooked and pickled vegetables; the one here is mouth-tinglingly tangy. James Syhabout of Oakland, California's Commis makes it by pickling shallots, capers, pistachios and pink peppercorns overnight in Champagne vinegar and olive oil. It's awesome on tomatoes, but he also likes using it on fish.
When I moved to Minnesota in the 1990s, I was in treatment for chemical dependency and alcoholism. After six months, I got out and eventually found a job washing dishes and busing tables at a French restaurant in the Twin Cities called Cafe Un Deux Trois. It was two weeks old and already coming off the rails. Packed to the gills, it was the biggest thing to hit Minnesota since sliced bread. Literally. The owners would fly in from New York and swear at the customers (not very Minnesota Nice!), and the kitchen was run by an earnest and talented young chef hot off a few years spent in NYC cooking with David Bouley. One day a line cook called in sick, and since I had been watching his station for a few days from the vantage point of the dish room and the busers' station, I thought I could put out his food. I did, got a job as a line cook immediately and within a few weeks was asked by the owners to take over the kitchen. I brought in my own team; then Michael, the restaurant manager, bought out the NYC crew (thanks Georges, Gerard and Billy!); and for the next five years, we had a huge hit on our hands. It was restaurant heaven. The only dish that survived the first menu changeover was this amazing asparagus pasta, which the old chef swore he got from Bouley. While that may or may not be true, if it's not Bouley's, it should have been--it's that delicious.--Andrew Zimmern
Marcia Kiesel's pate makes an elegant holiday gift presented in a pretty porcelain ramekin with crackers or crispy wafers, like Margaret's Artisan Flatbread. The buttery, earthy pate can be spread on crostini, stuffed into Cognac-poached prunes, or even shaped into small balls and deep-fried with sage leaves.
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmigiano and Pistachios
One of the wonderful things about winemaker Louis-Michel Liger-Belair's lemony salad is that it's so quick to make. Since the zucchini is served raw, be sure to use the smallest, freshest ones you can find. The salad can be garnished with pistachios, which add a little sweetness, or Italian pine nuts.