Saffron Pistachios

Very subtle, with an almost delicate saffron flavor that improves over time, these nuts really need to cool completely before serving.
If you haven’t had a good pistachio lately, it’s probably because you’re eating those grown in California. Although they’re easier to open and comparatively large, their flavor isn’t as good as the smaller, more flavorful Turkish pistachios.

Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, is fortunately so flavorful that you need only a tiny bit to flavor foods. Used most famously in risotto Milanese, paella, and bouillabaisse, saffron adds a kind of aromatic pungency and a gorgeous yellow color.

Makes 2 cups.

2 cups lightly toasted shelled pistachio nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 saffron threads, crushed, or 1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the pistachios and oil in a medium-size bowl and toss to combine. Add the saffron and salt and toss until the nuts are well coated.

3. Transfer the pistachios to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and cook until the nuts just begin to color, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven, transfer the nuts to a paper towel to drain, and set aside to cool before serving.

Not just for snacking: Mix into steamed basmati rice or couscous.

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)