Yet another buy local bonus: bumper crop discounts occasionally extend to secondary products like Santa Barbara Pistachio Company's pistachio flour. "It's crazy price!" says David Bomer, the company's enthusiastic Ojai sales manager, handing over a bright green $6 bag of cold-pressed pistachio meal.
"At one point it was like $9 for just a pound, but we ground a little too much and it wasn't selling so well at that price," he continues. Farm representative Angel Cannon confirmed via email that the discounted $6 price will remain at local markets for a few more weeks, after which 24-ounce bags will be available for $8, the current price online. Not sure what to do with pistachio flour?
Bomer recommends adding a little pistachio flour "to smoothies or whatever, it's good on everything." Other possibilities: Sprinkle a little on oatmeal for a nutty twist, or use the nut flour to bread chicken cutlets, fish or tofu as as the farm's website suggests. We're already dreaming up the honey pistachio cake possibilities. (Note: Nut flours should be stored in the refrigerator or frozen for longer term storage.)
Farm owner Gail Zannon has also added a new pistachio butter to the farm's market lineup (currently $5 for 8 ounces at farmers markets, $6 online). She coarsely grinds raw organic pistachios to yield a bright, mildly sweet nut butter that's great spread on apples or toast.
For a homemade riff on the often pricey sweetened Sicilian pistachio paste used in pastries, you can whip a generous pour of honey and a few teaspoons of olive oil, if needed to thin the texture, into the nut butter. Welcome to a whole new dessert realm of pistachio macaroons, pastry cream and David Lebovitz's homemade gelato. We're pretty certain Bomer would enthusiastically approve.
Santa Barbara Pistachio Company pistachio flour and butter are available online and at several farmers markets including the Wednesday and Saturday Santa Monica Farmers Market (Arizona), Thursday Woodland Hills Market, and Sunday Hollywood and Mar Vista markets.
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