The pistachio is known as the “happy nut” in China because its cracked shell looks like a smile, and because it tastes so good. Wonderfully delicious pistachio nuts have long been the symbol of wellness since ancient times. Pistachio oil extracted from the kernels is one of the healthiest oils. It has a luxurious deep green color and a pleasant nutty aroma.
Health Benefits of Pistachio Oil
- Heart Healthy
- Contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, including omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 fatty acids.
- Excellent source of Vitamin E and helps keep skin well protected from dryness. Thus an excellent moisturiser
- Protects skin from sun damage, thereby reducing the odds of skin cancer and sunburns.
- It is a natural, rich source of biotin, which helps to battle hair loss.
- Rich source of Antioxidants and carotenes
- Also employed as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in massage therapy and aromatherapy
Suggested uses and recipes
1. Can be had on its own as a dip for bread.
2. The oil is also a wonder when it dresses a salad or a simply steamed or grilled vegetable or fish.
Broccoli Salad with Avocado and Pistachios
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
Adapted from Patricia Wells and Ina Garten
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons pistachio oil
For the salad:
2 heads of broccoli, cut into large florets (about 10 cups)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large ripe avocado, halved, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped shelled roasted salted pistachios
To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, zest, and pistachio in a small jar and shake to blend.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add a heaping tablespoon of salt. Add the broccoli florets and cook until crisp-tender, 1 – 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately in the ice water
To assemble the salad, mound the broccoli in the middle of a serving dish. Arrange the avocado slices around the broccoli. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the pistachios.
2 cups water
1 cup basmati rice
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried currants or golden raisins
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons pistachio oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is done. Remove from heat; fluff with fork. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, currants, chopped pistachio, black pepper powder and pistachiio oil . Cover; let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.
4. Finally, this oil can be used when baking to give bread or muffins a nutty flavor.
Pistachio Cupcakes with Rosemary and a Cherry Glaze
- 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 C sugar
- 1/4 C pistachio oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C milk
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
- 3/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp cherry juice (To get my cherry juice, I stemmed, pitted, and food processed a handful of cherries. Then, I strained the cherry mush to get only the juice.)
- Cream butter and sugar together.
- Mix in the pistachio oil.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in flour, a half cup at a time, alternating with milk.
- Mix in rosemary.
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
- Bake at 275 F for 1 hour.
- Mix the sugar and cherry juice until completely smooth.
- Dip the cupcakes in the glaze. It will be drippy at first, but it will harden quickly on the cupcakes.