Pistachios with Anise

It’s no surprise that I have become obsessed with nuts. When our family recently went out for ice cream at Toscanini’s Ice Cream, in Cambridge, I spied a new and unfamiliar flavor: pistachio anise. I tasted it (though I had a scoop of burnt sugar ice cream instead) and immediately ran home to try this combination on nuts.

The pistachio, also known as the green almond, originated in Persia. The most common use for pistachios, not surprisingly, is pistachio ice cream, which was invented by Philadelphia’s James W. Parkinson in the 1940s.

Makes 2 cups.

2 cups shelled raw pistachio nuts
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1½ tablespoons Sambuca or any anise-flavored liquor
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon anise seeds

1. Place all the ingredients in a large, heavy bottomed skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the nuts have hardened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate and set aside to cool before serving.

If you’re sipping: Sambuca is the drink of choice. Not just for snacking: Tipping my hat to the original inspiration, mix them into vanilla ice cream.

From Party Nuts! 50 Recipes for Spicy, Sweet, Savory, and Simply Sensational Nuts That Will Be the Hit of Any Gathering (The Harvard Common Press, 2002)