Tupelo Honey Pistachio Butter

Honey nut butter

Honey nut butter

I love nut butters. Besides the dairy, salted variety, I would argue that they might be the best thing to happen to sliced bread since these people started selling their wares. Peanut, almond, cashew, pecan- each one is unique in the the way they upgrade a brown-bag lunch (and make me feel like a slightly more sophisticated sandwich maker).

A few weeks ago, I caught the pistachio butter bug. After a friend of mine explained how delicious it was- and how shocked he was that I hadn’t tried it yet- I knew I had to have it. In my zeal I scoured the shelves of our local health food chain, the health food chain’s sister store, then the sister store’s even smaller step-sister store. Nothing. I searched online and quickly realized that my nut butter pride came with a (monetary) price. I now had to find unsalted, unroasted, raw pistachios in enough time to not go crazy.

I might be slightly emotionally exaggerating here, but I have never been one to lack in passion for a quality food product.

By this point I had run out of gas and time, and the pistachio butter craving was threatening to lead me in a last-ditch drive to Seattle, Washington. In conclusion, and to echo the incredible Tim Gunn, I had to make it work. What I could find was salted, roasted pistachios in the shells (thank you Sally Hansen for saving my fingernails after cracking those suckers); Tupelo honey, and sea salt.

We faked it until we made it with this recipe my friends and it is fabulous. The sunshine-y taste of the Tupelo Honey gives a lightness to the salty richness of the roasted pistachios. This spread is heaven on an apple slice with a little extra drizzle of honey. Or, brown bag it with apple butter and/or strawberry jam. Use it in a macaroon or spread it on french toast before it’s fried. Or, eat it with a spoon out of your refrigerator until the craving subsides. Which for me, unfortunately, was way too far into the batch to turn back at any healthy point.

I hope you enjoy this take on a sweeter, Southerner-er version of a nut butter favorite. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the humidity, but let’s get nutty people!

Tupelo Honey Pistachio Butter

What You Will Need

6 tablespoons canola oil

5 tablespoons hot water

1/2 lb roasted, salted pistachios

2 1/4 teaspoons tupelo honey

2 pinches sea salt (to taste)

What You Will Do

1. BLEND!

2. Seriously; All you need to do is put the canola oil, hot water (make sure it is hot; this gives it the right consistentcy and makes the butter easier to blend), pistachios, honey, and sea salt in a blender and press pulse. Or Mix. Or whatever suits your fancy unill it is the consistency of a nut spread. Let it run until it is smoothy and creamy, taste it, and if you would like it a bit thinner, just add more hot water by the teaspoon, and adjust the saltiness by small pinches if you like it with a little more kick.

Red, White and Bleu Coleslaw

A summer side MVP

A summer side MVP

It’s hard to get excited about coleslaw.

In the South, the shredded green lettuce routinely fades into the summer barbecue background, alongside baked beans and summer watermelon, once the true star of the show- salty smoked pork-arrives.

And don’t get me wrong- dry rubbed, tenderly glazed, and artfully pulled pork (substitute beef here if you are west of Mississippi)  deserves every bit of attention it gets. No barbecue would be the same without it. But this year I wanted to get in the coleslaw spirit; to create a recipe that actually stood next to a platter of beautiful chopped meat. A side that I would be motivated to go back for seconds on. Maybe even save extra stomach room for it instead of banana pudding. Maybe.

This recipe confidently held it’s own in more ways than one. As opposed to a mayonnaise-laced version, this is light and summery, with the rich smokiness of gorgonzola and tart sun-dried tomatoes to give it interest and pop. Plus, what’s more fun than an excuse to theme food around a holiday? I envision this coleslaw hitting a home run at all of your summer parties- Memorial Day (next year), Fourth of July, or any event themed around America, nautical elements, fireworks, or park weddings.

So stand up for coleslaw at your next meat-themed cookout. With this secret, sparkler weapon at your side, I promise you’ll be the hit of the backup sides.

Red, White and Bleu Coleslaw

What You Will Need

For the salad

8 cups coleslaw mix

4 cups shredded red cabbage

2/3 cup scallions

14 sundried tomatoes

5 ounces crumbled gorgonzola

For the vinaigrette

1/3 cup good olive oil

1/3 cup sun-dried tomato oil (strain your sun dried tomatoes from the jar and save the remaining oil)

4 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

What You Will Do

1. Whisk together olive and tomato oils, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl until combined. Set aside. (This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated if needed.)

2. Combine coleslaw mix, red cabbage, scallions, sun dried tomatoes, and gorgonzola.

3.  Gently fold the dressing mixture into the salad mix, taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. This can be made ahead of time and tastes better if it rests at room temperature for a few hours.