In a feat witnessed Thursday by more than five dozen journalists and social media influencers, the Austrian-born celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck performed something few Westerners had imagined: He used pistachios as an ingredient in a savory dish as well as a sweet one.
His secret? Pistachio butter — or as others called it, pistachio paste, a nutritious standby that can be kept jarred in the refrigerator for use on everything from fish to poultry.
"It's outrageous and it's so crazy easy to make at home," said Judy Hirigoyen, vice president of global marketing for the American Pistachio Growers trade group.
In anticipation of a record U.S. pistachio crop this year, APG says it is mounting a "full-court press" to promote the nut using live, interactive cooking demonstrations featuring well-known chefs.
After Puck's demonstration targeting U.S. and German audiences, chef Nancy Silverton will create dishes geared toward the U.S. and Indian markets. She will be followed by chef Gerald Hirigoyen, engaging with the French, Spanish and U.S. markets, and chef Martin Yan, whose demonstration targets the Chinese and domestic markets.
The trade group shared Puck's recipe for making pistachio butter:
- 2 cups (or 250 grams) of pistachios, roasted
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (or 55 to 110 grams) of grapeseed oil
- 1/4 teaspoon (or 1 gram) of sea salt, optional
Scoop pistachios into a food processor and run for 60 to 90 seconds. Open the processor and scrape the sides. Run for another 60 to 90 seconds. Scrape down the sides and continue processing. Slowly drizzle oil as needed into the butter as it’s processing until you achieve the texture and consistency you prefer. Add optional sea salt and pulse to combine.
Transfer butter to a container with a snap-on lid. Refrigerate if holding the butter for more than a few days.
Equipment and smallwares: Food processor, rubber spatula and airtight container.