The pistachio has been a favourite snack food for centuries in the Middle East, which is hardly surprising because the pretty green and pink nuts are a delicacy with salt or unsalted (of course you need to buy the latter if you are using them in a sweet recipe) and the shell of a ripened nut is slightly ajar, and so can easily be prised apart with the fingers.
Large scale pistachio planting in California has done nothing to bring down the price of this prized nut, which is native to the Eastern Mediterranean.
You've heard of spaghetti carbonara - well, here's an unusual twist on that Italian classic. All you need is five ready-made ingredients for a supper that has plenty of wow factor!
Redolent of Greece, Turkey and the Middle East where stuffed vegetables are de rigueur, this lovely vegetarian recipe is a flavourful way to eat cabbage in the winter months.
It may look as if this Italian classic took hours to make, but in fact you just assemble a few ingredients in a loaf tin and there you have it - a lovely dessert that will earn you plenty of compliments.
Marinate some chicken drumsticks, then coat them in a crunchy mixture of pistachios, spices and herbs - perfect for barbecues, outdoor eating and picnics, and bound to be a hit with any children who need feeding.
With its lovely delicate green colour, this ice cream really sums up summer and is an Italian classic that is elegant enough to serve as a dinner-party dessert, particularly if your meal has an Italian or Mediterranean theme.
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