Originally from the Middle East and western Asia, pistachio nuts have a buttery flavor and an eye-catching emerald color.
They give appealing texture and a festive look to salads and can also be used as a coating (think cheese-log appetizer or chicken or fish main course). Pistachios are also divine in desserts -- adding a little something sophisticated to cakes, cookies, and ice cream.
At the Store, at Home
Choose nuts with partially opened pale-beige shells from a store with frequent turnover (avoid dyed pistachios, and check whether they're salted or unsalted). Nuts can go rancid quickly, so refrigerate them up to 6 months, or freeze up to 1 year.