Fresh Pistachios & Peas

Fresh pistachios. Mind blown.

My vegetable and fruit delivery service said fresh pistachios were only available for another couple of weeks and they were selling some with their boxes this week. I couldn’t resist.

At first, I was surprised at their appearance (but let’s be real, I wasn’t really sure what fresh pistachios were all about in the first place.) A speckled yellow and pink soft skin encases the recognizable hard, oval-shaped shell. The nut at the center of all this business is softer and more mild than your typical salt roasted variety.

The smell of the skins has filled our kitchen for the past week – floral and slightly musky with a vague familiarity about it. Eating them plain is pretty excellent. And shelling and roasting them with a little salt makes them taste like the packaged kind – only better, fresher.

I thought their softness was kind of cool and akin to a fresh bean, so I decided to saute some with a little garlic to see how they turned out. The result is a beautiful, muted pistachio flavor with a slight crunch. Mixed with peas and a little feta, they make a snazzy looking side dish that is irresistibly green.

Whatever you do with fresh pistachios, keep it nice and simple. Let them shine.

Peas with Fresh Pistachios
(serves 2 as a side)

– 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
– 1/4 cup fresh pistachios, roughly chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
– juice of half a lemon
– freshly ground pepper and salt
– 2 tablespoons crumbled feta

In a medium pan, heat olive oil over a medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Add fresh pistachios and saute for 2 minutes until the insides are bright green and they are slightly golden and deep purple on the outside.

Add peas and cook for another minute to heat the peas through. Remove from heat.

Squeeze lemon juice over the mixture and season with a healthy amount of ground pepper and salt. Sprinkle with feta to serve.


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