A pistachio-flavoured gratin preparation for imaginative and modern recipes in which the sweet taste of pistachio creates a contrast that counterbalances the tastier savory dishes.

The secret of gratin

Gratinization is a cooking technique whose aim is to form a golden crust on the surface of what you are cooking while the heart of the dish remains moister and softer. Obviously during the cooking phase there are various precautions to be respected but we cannot undertake a complete cooking course in this space, when we talk about the secret of gratinating we are referring to the chemical processes responsible for the formation of the crust which among other things are the same ones that enter at play in breading and other things in the kitchen. Knowing that these chemical processes go under the name of Maillard reaction, from the name of the French chemist and doctor who first described them, is a non-essential curiosity, knowing that they consist in the reaction of proteins with sugars can instead be useful to avoid make disastrous mistakes. We can flavor our breading mix as we want or keep it simple, but what must never be missing is the addition of proteins where they are missing (the base of the breading, i.e. the flour or breadcrumbs, guarantees the carbohydrates, i.e. the sugars). No one has ever explained it to you in these terms but think about it: they taught you to dip what you need to bread in the egg and as regards the gratin, in the recipes you often find the addition of parmesan (or other cheese), always in the gratins of vegetables but not always in meat or fish ones because the proteins are already present in these.

Ideas for using pistachio gratin breading

The sweet flavor of pistachio is used naturally in many sweet products, ice cream, biscuits, cakes, etc. but in reality, even if in the Italian culinary tradition the sweet-savory contrast is less used than in other cultures (such as those of Northern Europe), there is no shortage of uses in savory recipes and in particular precisely to contrast particularly tasty foods, for example we find pistachio in recipes for cooking tuna fillet or beef fillet. In particular, in the recipe for crusted beef fillet, chopped pistachios are mixed with parmesan. So without prejudice to the fact that you could also try this pistachio (and parsley) gratin breading on vegetable dishes, using it to bread or gratin both white and red meats seems to be its natural use.


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