buying shelled nuts, such as pistachios, is a two-way street. by that, i mean that they are typically quite a bit more expensive than unshelled ones due to the labour involved in decorticating them. some people don't mind paying more as it saves time, especially if you need many for whatever you're preparing.
if you only have a few to do, however, there is a very quick and fast way to remove the peel of pistachios. the same procedure can be done for other nuts like almonds but they take longer to process as the skin is thicker; mind you, they are just as easy to do. hazelnuts are a different procedure involving heating them and rubbing the skins off them. i have no patience for that so i'd buy those already prepared!
removing the skin from pistachios, almonds, etc...
pistachios, almonds, etc.
place the nuts in an appropriately-sized heatproof bowl or dish.
pour boiling water over them to cover by about an inch or so.
let soak for about 15 to 20 minutes (if you are doing almonds let them soak for up to an hour and cover the dish or bowl).
take out one of the pistachios and inspect it to see if the skin has swelled and loosened.
if it has, start to break the skin with the nail of your finger and then peel off the skins.
place aside and rinse off the pistachios.
- n.b. if you are going to grind them finely you have to let them dry or you can speed the process in an oven set at 200 F. for about 15 to 20 minutes but keep an eye on them. they mustn't brown.
- if you are going to sliver or quarter them then this is the appropriate time to do it since they will be soft enough to slice cleanly. if they are dry, they will most likely shatter or disintegrate.