Pistachio-Zaatar Butter

I can’t get enough of the flavoured nut butter recipes from Amy Chaplin’s new book  Whole Food Cooking Everyday.  In the book, she has a Pistachio-Matcha butter with a beautiful electric green hue.  It got me thinking that there are often pistachios in Zaatar and that I usually sprinkle it on my nut butter in the morning…  You see where this is going…  The result is this flavoured nut butter, using Amy’s technique.  It’s distinctly on the savory side and my current go-to on toast at any time of day.  It also works well as the body of a quick dressing for salad, grains or steamed vegetables when you whisk it together with a splash of lemon juice and some water or broth – perhaps a bit of miso.

Yield: 1-1/3 cups

What you need:

  • 2 cups hulled, raw pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (raw or toasted, up to you)
  • 3 or 4 teaspoons of sumac (again, up to you, how much do you like sumac?)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin (optional – I only use it about 1 out of every 4 batches of butter to switch the flavor up a little, but it will be even more savory if you add it, so consider yourself warned)
  • 3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon)

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Lay out the raw pistachios in a 9×13 glass baking dish and pop them in the oven.  Roast for 8-12 minutes, until they have a toasted aroma and are a shade or two darker.  Mix a few times during the toasting for even cooking.
  3. Remove the dish from the oven and let the nuts cool off.
  4. Process the pistachios and tahini in a food processor for several minutes, until a loose and runny consistency results and the butter has a glossy sheen.  This will take several minutes – particularly with pistachios – and you’ll probably have to stop a couple of times during the process to let the motor cool off.  Persist!  It’s worth the effort.
  5. Once the butter is runny, add the sumac, thyme and flake salt (and cumin if you decided to risk it in).  Process until well combined.
  6. Transfer to a clean storage jar and keep refrigerated for optimum freshness.  Ideally, wait a day or so before eating some, to let the flavours have time to mix.


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