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Pistachio Oil: How To Up-Level Simple Meals The French Way

by | Feb 5, 2019 | Uncategorized



Tired of the same old recipes on repeat?

I’ve noticed the French add unusual ingredients to everyday foods, making them instantly and easily restaurant quality. In this way, they keep dishes simple, healthy and quick to prepare. They’re also less tempted to reach for takeaway or packaged food.

A case in point is the fragrant, emerald green pistachio oil. I’ve always loved pistachios and pistachio ice cream. But I never knew there was pistachio oil

Health Benefits:

Pistachio oil is as healthy for you as olive oil. It contains essential fatty acids, Omega 9s (rare in our modern, refined diets), antioxidants and vitamin E. It ‘s a good source of vitamins B1, K, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. It also helps regulate cholesterol and is recognized as one of the healthy fats.

How It’s Made:

The oil is extracted from lightly toasted pistachios which are mechanically pressed. The oil is then filtered before being bottled. 

How To Use It:

Only a few drops are needed to make an everyday dish a delight as it has a strong pistachio taste. Its emerald color and incredible fragrance make it the crown jewel of my oil collection. 

You can heat pistachio oil and use it in baking, but given its strong flavor and high price (from $14 to over $60 for 8 oz), I wouldn’t use it as a frying oil. And like almond, walnut or hazelnut oils, it has a short shelf life of about 6 months once opened. It’s best to store it in the refrigerator.

Recommended Uses:

– for baking: add it to melted butter in a  cake batter 

-over raw or cooked vegetables: endive salad, beets, and string beans taste extra special with a few drops of pistachio oil on them.

-in vinaigrettes: it goes well with balsamic or raspberry vinegar

-added to pasta or potatoes

-as a finishing oil over meat or fish (seabass) and shellfish before serving.

-added to a fruit salad (raspberries or strawberries, sliced pears or apples)

Recipes:

1. On a Ripe Avocado:

The French usually start lunch or dinner with a vegetable, raw or cooked.  When I’m pressed for time and want a quick starter this is a treat:

Add a half teaspoon of pistachio oil to the center of a ripe avocado with sea salt or, if you want to be fancy, crunchy Maldon Salt. Now you have a fabulous “Starter” to your lunch or dinner which takes only seconds to prepare.  And it comes with its own bowl!

2. Melon, Tomato and Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette:

The French use a Cavaillon melon but if you’re in the U.S. you would use a Cantaloupe melon.

  • Put sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes and sliced melon on a plate
  • Add some fresh basil leaves on top
  • For the vinaigrette: (I use a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar, but you can use a 1:1 ratio if you prefer). Wisk two tablespoons of pistachio oil with one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar;  salt & pepper to taste.

3. Up-Leveled Lentils:

France is known for its green lentils from the Puy region (“Lentilles Vertes du Puy”), present since Roman times. The French eat a lot of lentils either cold in a salad or hot as a side dish.

Add a tablespoon of pistachio oil and a tablespoon of sugar to the cooking water of your lentils, and you’ll have a delicious, unusual but simple side-dish for your meal.

Where to Buy It

-J. Leblanc is my favorite French brand of pistachio oil. This family-owned company in the Burgundy region has been producing oils for top chefs for over a century. Their pistachio oil is seriously expensive, but the quality is beyond reproach. For example, in the U.S. an 8 oz. bottle is around $63

You can find it at thefrenchfarm.com 

-“La Tourangelle” Pistachio Oil is available at iGourmet.com  and “Roland” Pistachio Oil is available on Amazon.com

And now you: Have you ever used pistachio oil in recipes at home? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

And come on over and say “Hi” on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nancyconwayparis/

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