The pistachio nut has a hard, tan shell that encloses a yellow to pale green nut. As the pistachio kernel grows, it naturally expands within the shell until the shell splits open. Why are some pistachios dyes red? The first pistachios available to U.S. consumers were imported from the Middle East. Importers dyed the shells red to disguise staining from antiquated harvesting methods and to make pistachios stand out among other nuts.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Nonsplit shells usually contain immature kernels and should be discarded.
How to store: Store in an airtight container. Pistachios tend to draw moisture from the air, and may otherwise lose their crunch. Kept in the refrigerator or freezer, pistachios can be stored for as long as a year.
Matches well with: asparagus, chicken, ice cream, leeks, pasta, rice, sausages
Substitutions: 2 cups in-shell pistachios = 1 cup kernels