I've just begun cooking with pistachios & tried 2 recipes: a pistachio cookie & a couscous salad featuring pistachios. In both, I couldn't taste the pistachios at all -- their flavor seems easily dominated by other flavors. Is it just me, or have you experienced this too? I love pistachios straight-up (in fact I'm eating a handful of them right now) & am disappointed I can't find a recipe that really showcases their flavor.

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13 Comments

Blissful B. February 2, 2011
More great ideas. Thanks so much!
 
Anitalectric February 2, 2011
The website I mentioned below is http://www.ohnuts.com/buy.cfm/bulk-nuts-seeds/pistachio-nuts/shelled-raw-pistachios
 
mainecook61 February 1, 2011
Look at the archive of Melissa Clark's "Cooking with a Good Appetite" columns at the New York Times. She has a fabulous recipe there for granola made with olive oil, pistachios, and apricots. It's also in her new book. This is the most deluxe, delicious granola you will ever encounter, and the flavor of the pistachios is right up front, since they toast along with the other ingredients.
 
Anitalectric February 1, 2011
Ok. So if you did already roast the pistachios you might have to try some other things. If I was going to pull out all the stops to taste those pistachios, I would:

1. buy them from a reputable supplier where they are sure to be fresh. I have found that Indian and Middle Eastern food shops have the freshest stock. I also have a friend who makes pistachio butter and he gets his from an organic supplier in CA. I will get the info and post it here, but they are the most flavorful, amazing pistachios ever.

2. Keep some of them whole if you want, but also grind some with some of the flour in the recipe (1c:1c).

3. After baking, soak with a nut-infused booze like frangelico or disaronno.
 
Blissful B. February 1, 2011
I did roast the pistachios, so that wasn't the problem & the 2 recipes I tried were from the Food52 EP list & I couldn't taste the pistachios at all. I like the advice about keeping the pistachios whole & will do that from now on. Also, I'll look at recipes carefully & choose one where the other flavors are mild, to really let the pistachios shine. I am intrigued by the idea of pistachio ice cream, but unfortunately have no ice cream maker. Well, there's another item for my wish list! Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful answers.
 
Bevi January 31, 2011
Toasting or roasting your pistachios will bring out the flavor. And check out this site for more recipes - there are 4 award winners and lots of EPs to choose from: http://www.food52.com/recipes/search?page=1&recipe_search=pistachios
 
RobertaJ January 31, 2011
If you don't chop them or don't chop them too finely, you should up the flavor a bit as well. And I also agree with the roasting.
 
pierino January 31, 2011
I agree with AmySarah on the ice cream theme, pistachio gelato.

But I too would toast them in a dry skillet and add them to something like red quinoa with some olive oil and citrus zest.
 
bella S. January 31, 2011
Definitely toast them before using. I do that with all nuts. It really brings out flavor.
 
amysarah January 31, 2011
This may be obvious, but I think a really good pistachio ice cream (not the commercial green stuff) is a great vehicle for their flavor - and pure bliss.

I especially love when the ice cream isn't overly sweet and the pistachios are ever so lightly salted - the contrast of that hint of salt and the sweet cream really brings out the pistachio-ness of the pistachio ;-) Be sure to include lots whole pistachios too - if too finely chopped, their delicate flavor can get lost. (Sorry, I don't have an actual recipe to share.)
 
spiffypaws January 31, 2011
and a dressing that I think has buttermilk and fresh ground pepper. The pistachios are not chopped; they're whole and I think that's one of the keys; they're so mild (but awesome) that you want to keep them whole or chopped very large so that you get a big bite.
 
spiffypaws January 31, 2011
The best dish I've ever had with pistachos is from a restaurant in Kennebunkport, ME called Hurricane Restaurant. It just containes greens, roasted shallots and pistachios
 
Anitalectric January 31, 2011
Try lightly toasting them in the oven first, @ 300 degrees for 7-10 mins. It enhances their flavor.
 
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