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Pistachio-Yogurt Sauce

Pistachio-Yogurt Sauce

We didn’t know how much this sauce was missing from our lives until we had it; serve with grilled or roasted meat, or as a side to crisp-skinned fish, such as broiled salmon.


  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 5–8 minutes. Let cool, then process in a food processor until very finely ground. Add garlic and lemon zest and process until a coarse paste forms. With motor running, stream in ¼ cup oil and process until mixture is smooth and no longer grainy (texture should be like tahini). Season with salt and pepper.

  • Place yogurt in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Thin with a little oil until about the same consistency as the pistachio paste. Fold pistachio paste into yogurt, leaving mixture marbled.

Recipe by Joshua McFadden & Sara Kramer,

Nutritional Content

For 8 servings, 2.5 Tbsp. each: Calories (kcal) 180 Fat (g) 17 Saturated Fat (g) 4 Cholesterol (mg) 5 Carbohydrates (g) 5 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 2 Protein (g) 5 Sodium (mg) 10Reviews Section

Roasted Squash With Yogurt and Spiced, Buttered Pistachios

This treatment of the soon-to-be-ubiquitous winter squash caramelizes the flesh and combines it with delectable nuts, spices and yogurt. Serve as a side dish, or with rice or flatbread as a main course.

NOTE: If you use a thick-skinned squash variety, such as those listed here, there is no need to peel the skin becomes soft enough to eat. If you use a thinner-skinned squash, such as butternut or honey nut, peel and cut it into 1-inch-thick slices rather than wedges.

Make Ahead: The squash can be roasted several hours ahead, wrapped loosely and stored at room temperature, or wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 5 days. The buttered pistachios can be prepared and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Before serving, bring the squash to room temperature or warm in a low oven or microwave, and re-melt the butter in the pistachios on the stove top or in the microwave.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the middle.

Using a large, sharp knife, stab the squash in the middle and carefully work the knife down to cut the squash in half, going through the stem. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp, and discard or reserve for another use. Cut the squash halves into 1 1/2-inch wedges, leaving the peel on.

On a large, rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the squash with the olive oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until the squash is very tender and golden brown with caramelized bits.

Meanwhile, in a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter has browned and started to foam, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pistachios, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and pinch of red pepper flakes, if using. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, taste, and add more salt, if needed.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Spread the yogurt sauce over a large serving platter or bowl. Arrange the squash on the sauce and spoon the buttered pistachios over everything. Sprinkle with another pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.

Pistachio chicken curry

I could eat curry for every meal of every day. Fact. I rue the day that someone somewhere thought designing an open plan office structure would be a good idea. It’s forced me into soups and sandwiches for lunch.

But if I could, this one would be a regular. For those of you who isolate your curry consumption to the evenings, I recommend you try it. It’s easy, quick and delicious and features my nut of choice, the earthy green pistachio.


  • 5cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 100g unsalted pistachios, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 2 large white onions, sliced into fine rings
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick, or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 800g skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 4 tablespoons home-made or Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve
  • 250ml hot chicken stock
  • juice of ½ a lemon

In a food processor or spice grinder, grind the pistachios to a fine powder and set aside. Bash up the ginger and garlic up in a pestle and mortar to a coarse paste and set aside.

Put the oil in a wide-bottomed, lidded frying pan on a medium heat and, when it’s hot, add the onions. Fry until caramelized, which should take around 20 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger paste and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the tomatoes.

Put the lid on the pan and leave the tomatoes to cook for around 6 minutes, until they start to break down, then add the black pepper, garam masala, chilli powder, coriander, cardamom and salt. Stir, then put the chicken pieces into the pan.

Turn the chicken so that it seals on all sides, then add the ground pistachios. Stir-fry for a minute, and pour in the chicken stock. Lightly whisk the yoghurt with a fork, then stir it into the pan.

Pop the lid on the pan and leave to cook for around 15 minutes. Taste the dish for salt and spice. You may want to add a little water at the end of cooking to ensure a sauce the consistency of thick cream.

To serve, spoon over a dollop of yoghurt, throw a couple of chopped pistachios over the top and squeeze over the lemon juice. Eat with a bowl of basmati rice or some naan bread.

Smooth pistachio butter gets swirled into plain or vanilla yogurt to start your yogurt bowl or parfait.

I used a tablespoon or two in each bowl with 1 cup of yogurt.

You can even layer the pistachio butter in a parfait instead of swirling it.

The pistachio butter adds a sweet and nutty flavor to the yogurt and is perfect with summer fruit and granola.

Fruit for yogurt bowls:

I used strawberries and pitted cherries in my pistachio yogurt bowls. The combo is colorful, sweet and perfect.

You can use any fruit combo you'd like! Try this with citrus segments, melon, pomegranate arils, and other berries.

Granola for yogurt bowls:

I make my own granola with oats, seeds, pistachios and sometimes coconut. You can use your own favorite granola, homemade or from the store.

If you make yogurt parfaits ahead of time for a party, the granola gets soft as it sits. It's quite delicious!

Rhubarb and Pistachios over Thick Yogurt

Ingredients US Metric

  • 4 stalks rhubarb, ends and leaves trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup light-colored honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 2 cups Greek-style yogurt, or 4 cups regular yogurt, drained overnight (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped


Cut the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and place in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup water. Cover and bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. When the rhubarb starts to soften, after about 5 minutes, stir in the cardamom, nutmeg, and salt. Break up any large pieces of rhubarb with a wooden spoon. Continue to simmer, covered, until the rhubarb is completely softened, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey and vanilla extract. Let cool.

Just before serving, stir the rose water into the rhubarb. Place 1/2 cup of yogurt in each bowl and top with a few tablespoons of the rhubarb. Scatter a few tablespoons of pistachios over the top.

If you’re draining yogurt, you’ll need to start the night before you serve it. To convert 1 cup of regular yogurt to 1/2 cup of thick Greek-style yogurt, set a a strainer over a bowl and line it with a clean, lint-free dish towel or a coffee filter and pour in 1 cup of yogurt. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, discard the liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Scrape the thickened yogurt from the strainer into a serving bowl(s).

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Cindy Zaiffdeen

I woke up one Saturday morning and noticed that my rhubarb plant was begging to be used. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I also had a bottle of rose water in the pantry that had never been opened, and I was curious as to the flavor combination. I followed the recipe exactly. I make my own yogurt, and I drained it overnight to allow the whey to drain. The next day I added the rose water to the rhubarb mixture (I used four big stalks) just before serving, as instructed, and I used salted pistachios. The combo of sweet, tart, creamy, and salty is absolutely delicious! I am putting this rhubarb recipe in my list of favorites! (And if anyone is curious—the addition of rosewater is amazing!)


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


I wish you gave weight or cup measurement for rhubarb, as stalk sizes vary a LOT!

Sue, that’s entirely fair, they do vary considerably! I’m thinking about 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb for this recipe…

Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios Recipe

I went to the farmers' market on Saturday morning looking for something to welcome me back from a few hectic months of travel, promotions, gatherings, and general chaos. I'm not sure what I was after exactly - inspiration, familiarity, surprise, a new ingredient to explore? I was welcomed by plump and perfect ruby red cherries, vibrant green fava pods, paper sacks brimming with peas, and the smell of jasmine flowers in the air.

After an hour or so, arms filled with perfect provisions, I popped into one of the little boutiques to choose a present for my mom. That's when I spotted Eric Gower's new cookbook. My eyes lit up, my bags immediately hit the concrete floor, and I made a grab for it.

Let's talk briefly about Eric. Part of what excites me about his approach to cooking and recipe development is the way he utilizes a global palette and plenty of whole ingredients in unique ways. I suspect Eric and I have much in common in the way we think about cooking, but that being said, our "go-to" ingredients are slightly different. One example, Eric has a more intimate knowledge of the Japanese pantry than I do (he lived there for fifteen years), and it shows in recipes punctuated by yuzu, miso, and maccha. So. I love to see what he is cooking, and what he is excited about sharing. Couldn't throw down my credit card fast enough for this book.

To get a sense of where Eric takes us with The Breakaway Cook, have a look at the short-list of recipes I've marked to try from it: Maccha Poached Eggs, Butternut-Ginger Spring Rolls, Mole Tofu with Spiced Bread Crumbs, Pomegranate Tofu with Pink Lentil Crust, Habanero Fried Rice, Cauliflower "Couscous" with Basil Lemon Sauce, Baby Artichokes Braised in Yuzu, and Jasmine Biscotti with Almonds. There are plenty of vegetarian recipes in this book. Eric also includes a seafood chapter, as well as poultry & meat.

His baked pea recipe (Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios to be exact) immediately caught my eye. Creamy tarragon spiked yogurt pistachio sauce combined with sweet green peas. No disappointment here - it was easy, delicious, and you could use any leftover pistachio dressing in a hundred different ways (salads, sandwich spread, dip, etc). I suggest you make double the dressing.

Thank you for the fantastic book Eric! I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I'm sure I will.

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Acorn Squash 101

Acorn squash typically have a beautiful deep winter green skin and deep orange flesh. But they can also have mottled combination of dark green and orange skin. My farmer grows a beautiful variety that are cream-coloured. All are delicious.

In my early cooking days, acorns were the first of the winter squash varieties that I started bringing home and cooking on a regular basis. I never did much more with the squash other than hack them into wedges, brush them with a little olive oil and maple syrup, and roast at 375°F until tender.

To cut up these unique vegetables, remove the stem and stand the squash upright with the pointy end pointed up. Cut straight down the center, then place the cut side on the board so it lies flat. Use your knife to get in those natural groves and cut the squash into wedges, as pictured above.

I’m still a big fan of the maple-glazed roasting method for acorn squash (maple! black pepper! sea salt!) but today’s recipe has flavours like brown butter, cumin, and salty pistachios, not to mention a spoonable salted yogurt. Oh, it’s a keeper.

Banana Pistachio Yogurt Bread Recipe

Since I love pistachios, I though why not make bread using them? This banana pistachio yogurt bread is as addictive as eating the pistachios nuts! The use of yogurt in the recipe allows you to cut back on butter or oil in your diet.

  • 3 very ripe bananas or 1 cup mashed (preferably overripe)*
  • 1 cup pistachio nuts, roasted, salted, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) plain yogurt**
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal, ground (make a powder out of the rolled oats by putting small amounts into the blender or food processor at a time.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust oven rack middle position. Grease one (1) 9x5-inch loaf pan (grease bottom only of regular loaf pan or grease and flour bottom and sides on a non-stick loaf pan).

In a bowl, combined the mashed bananas and chopped pistachios set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream butter and sugar just until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in yogurt and vanilla extract until combined.

Remove bowl from your electric mixer and stir in flour, ground/powdered oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the bananas/pistachio mixture.

NOTE: Bake all quick breads as soon as the ingredients are assembled. Since high temperature are often called for, it is best to bake them in the center of the oven, as the heat in the top third of the oven will be too intense.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake approximately 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The internal temperature of the bread should be at 200 degrees F.

When done. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack 10 minutes remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Storage: Breads that contain fruit, nuts, or butter may be stored for 2 or 3 days, well wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. May be frozen for longer storage. After thawing frozen breads, reheat them in a 400 degree F. oven for a few minutes before serving.

* To ripen bananas, allow green or yellow bananas to ripen at room temperature until the skin is covered with brown spots. Use a potato masher, fork, or spoon to mash the bananas, leaving no chunks of banana.

** I have also substituted flavored yogurts with excellent taste results. So far I have tried apple yogurt and peach yogurt (the flavors to try are many).

Making Muffins from a Quick Bread Recipe

Same recipe – same baking time – different shape

Choose a recipe that makes about 4 cups of batter. Most quick bread recipe make approximately 4 cups of batter which will make approximately 12 muffins.

If your quick bread recipe makes two loaves, the entire recipe should yield about 8 cups of batter, from which you can make either two dozen muffins, or one loaf and 12 muffins.

A typical muffin uses about 1/4 cup of batter. Fill each well in your muffin pan about 3/4 to nearly full. Tip: A #16 ice cream scoop will give the perfect amount of dough for each muffin.

Oven temperature and time can be flexible.

Bake the muffins for approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a 400 degree F. oven or approximatelyt 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degree F. Rotate muffin tin from front to back halfway through the baking time.

A good check for doneness is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your muffins (this is what I do). The internal temperature of the muffin should be at 200 degrees F.

Remove from oven and as soon as they have cooled enough to handle, remove the muffins from pan and place on a wire rack to finish cooling (if desired).

/>I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer . Originally designed for professional use, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. I only endorse a few products, on my web site, that I like and use regularly.

You can learn more or buy yours at: Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.

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Additional Banana Bread Recipes:

Banana Nut Bread
There is a saying about lemons “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well maybe there should be one for bananas as well – when life gives you overripe bananas, make banana bread! At least that is what I do.

Banana Oatmeal Yogurt Bread
I combined a couple of my Banana Bread recipes to create this delicious and healthy loaf of banana bread. The use of yogurt in the recipe allows you to cut back on butter. This bread is slightly heavier and denser than other banana breads. Great for breakfast!

Banana Pineapple Bread
This is a very moist and delicious tropical tasting banana bread. Very easy-to-make for your family. I made this bread a week ago and it was still moist and tasty.

Banana Yogurt Bread
This is a very moist and delicious banana bread. The use of yogurt in the recipe allows you to cut back on butter. Very easy-to-make for your family.

Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
Whether you enjoy a slice as a snack or for breakfast, this Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread is so flavorful, you will not need any butter.

Raspberry Chocolate Banana Bread
This is a family banana bread recipe that I modified reducing the amount of butter with a substitution of non-fat Greek yogurt. I also added the fresh raspberries and chocolate chips for an amazing flavor combination. It is very easy to make and so ridiculously delicious!

Sourdough Banana Bread
I slightly adapted this delicious Sourdough Banana Bread from the outstanding cookbook, Sourdough Starter. This quick bread recipe is perfect as the bread is so moist with the sweet taste of bananas, and so easy to make.

Sourdough Banana Zucchini Bread
I adapted my Sourdough Banana Bread recipe and added shredded zucchini squash to the recipe. This bread recipe is perfect as the bread is so so easy to make and delicious!

Ultimate Banana Bread
This recipe for banana bread fascinated me, as it takes 6 bananas in the recipe. Also the bananas are heated, juiced, and the juice reduced! I had never heard of this technique before, so I just had to give it a try. I very slightly adapted a few instructions in the recipe from the Cooks Illustrated Magazine, America’s Test Kitchen, Season 11.

Pistachio and Yogurt Chicken Curry (Pista nu Murgha)

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 50 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse 1 cup pistachios to a fine powder remove and set aside. Next, make a paste of the ginger and garlic in food processor or using a mortar and pestle.

In a large skillet (for which you have a lid), heat oil over medium heat and then add the onions. Sauté onions until caramelized, around 20 minutes, being careful not to burn. Add garlic-ginger paste and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes. Place a lid over skillet and let tomatoes cook 5 minutes, until starting to break down. Add black pepper, garam masala, chile flakes, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Stir, cooking 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add chicken to pan.

Cook chicken 2 minutes per side or until seared on both sides, then add ground pistachios. Stir and cook 2 minutes, then pour in warmed chicken stock. Gently stir in yogurt. Place lid over skillet and simmer about 15 minutes or until chicken reaches 160 degrees. Taste and adjust salt or chile as desired. Stir in a small amount of water if sauce becomes too thick. Squeeze lemon over curry just before serving.

Serve over rice topped with a dollop of yogurt, remaining pistachios and additional lemon juice, if desired.

Per serving (without rice): 371 calories, 14g carbohydrate, 28g protein, 23g fat (3g saturated), 341mg sodium, 4g fiber.

Split Pea “Meatballs” with Pistachio Yogurt

This recipe for Split Pea Meatballs with Pistachio Yoghurt was originally created by Josh Cohen for Food52.

“The flavour and texture of these vegetarian split pea “meatballs” are so enjoyable that even traditional meatball enthusiasts will be won over. This recipe was inspired by Persian lamb meatballs, which often have cooked split peas or basmati rice as part of the meatball mixture. I decided to eliminate the lamb, and form meatballs using only split peas and basmati. The spice mixture and fresh herbs give these “meatballs” bright flavour, and the egg yolks and flour work to bind the mixture so that the “meatballs” don’t fall apart as they cook. Give this recipe a try, and you will be rewarded with “meatballs” that will satisfy vegetarians and meat eaters alike”

Makes about 20 meatballs with pistachio yoghurt


For the Pistachio Yogurt

1/2 cup shelled pistachio (roasted, unsalted)
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

For the Split Pea “Meatballs”

Olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup yellow split peas
2 cups water
1/4 cup basmati rice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
3/4 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pomegranate molasses, for garnish


Add the pistachio and water to a blender, and blend until the pistachios are finely ground. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula as necessary.
Add the salt, cumin, lime juice, chilli powder, and yogurt. Puree to combine.
Taste the yogurt sauce, and adjust the flavour as you see fit. Set the yogurt sauce aside.
Please note that it can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.
Set a medium skillet over medium heat, and add enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom of the skillet.
When the oil is hot, add the onion.
Stir the onion regularly until it begins to soften.
Add the garlic and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and onion begin to caramelise.
Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, you can add the yellow split peas and water to a medium pot. Set the pot over high heat.
Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the split peas are simmering gently.
Simmer the split peas uncovered for approximately 20 minutes, until they are just cooked through.
Add the rice to the pot with the split peas and continue cooking, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, the water should be nearly completely evaporated, and the split peas and rice should both be fully cooked.
Set the pot aside until the split peas and rice are room temperature.
Transfer the cooked split peas and rice to a large mixing bowl.
Add the cooked onion and garlic. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, ground coriander, chilli powder, sumac, salt, lime juice, parsley, and cilantro, and stir to combine.
Add the egg yolks, and stir to combine. Add the flour and stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Form “meatballs” that are a little larger than bite-size.
You should be able to form about 20 “meatballs” in total.
The mixture will be wet and tacky, and it may be hard to form perfect balls.
It will help to either wash your hands regularly as you work, or you can wear rubber gloves and lightly coat the outside of the gloves with oil.
Cook the “meatballs” for approximately 10 minutes, until they begin to crisp and caramelise around the edges.
To serve, the pistachio yogurt sauce can be cold, room temperature, or gently warmed, depending on your personal preference. Spoon some of the sauce onto a plate.
Rest the “meatballs” in the sauce. Drizzle a little bit of pomegranate molasses over the top. Garnish with a little roughly chopped fresh parsley and cilantro.
Serve and enjoy.