When evenings start to get a little bit brighter every day, and nature finally shows off its best outfit of flowers and colours, I am, simply put, much happier. Storing away the winter collection of wool jumpers in all shades of gray, thick black tights and tall boots; and unpacking my light trench coat, flats to be worn with bare feet, and pastel-colored blouses is as much a superficial ritual as it is vital – representing the tangible sign that the darkest and gloomiest part of the year is finally gone. When I was living in Italy, March was usually when this change was taking place. Now, not much so.
No complaints, London is truly beautiful this time of the year. All parks and front yards are in bloom, and daylight is abundant. Yet, as I wander around in awe, admiring the show of magnolias, daffodils, and forsythias, I ache for the springtime I know and love to come for good, for the wind to turn balmy, and the sun to be truly warming.
What I am left with, for now, is the spring-like hue of this pistachio milk. It reminds me of all the best things about this time of the year – the green of the produce filling on the market stalls, the tender leaves and lush grass reviving the landscape, the pastel-coloured clothes making me feel lighter and brighter, and yes, even the hope filling my thoughts, already projected towards summer. Back to the milk: it is great chilled, just as it is; and it is especially good enjoyed outdoor, on a sunny afternoon at the park.
Pistachio Nut Milk
Put the nuts in a large container and add water to cover by 2in/5 cm. Let soak in a cool place overnight or up to 24 hours.
Rinse the soaked nuts in a fine-mesh sieve under cool water. In a blender, blend the nuts with the milk (and/or water) on high speed. Continue blending until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar and salt and blend 30 seconds longer.**
The nut milk will keep for up to 5 days, refrigerated. Shake well before drinking or using in a recipe.
* I used 2 cups water and 1 cup milk.
** For a richer milk, you can leave the pulp inside it as suggested in the book. This is also ideal if you are planning to make a nut-based pastry cream. For drinking, however, I would suggest filtering it through a nut milk bag or clean muslin to retain the pulp – which you can then use in cookies or stir into a wholesome morning muesli.