Coppa’s Chef de Cuisine Meghann Ward Is Creating Her Own Nut Butters
To enrich her globally inspired Italian plates, Coppa chef de cuisine Meghann Ward has gone a bit nuts, creating her own butters from cashews, almonds, and the like. “Peanuts have a totally unique flavor, but if you use an almond or cashew, you get a whole new element,” says the chef, who tops her shrimp-and-kimchi bruschetta with a cashew-butter-based dressing, coats fatty pork and lamb ribs with almond tahini, and, for brunch, binds a thick banana pancake with ground almonds. Incorporating blended pistachios, hazelnuts, and walnuts into dishes not only adds richness and healthy fats, Ward says, but also boosts their protein content. Ready to cook with them at home? Beacon Hill nut purveyor Fastachi sells a bevy of unusual house-roasted nut butters by the pint. Below, a few creative ways to get started.
1. Pistachio butter
Blend into pesto with blanched herbs, garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil.
2. Walnut butter
Fold into an earthy, spiced sauce like muhammara, harissa, or romesco.
3. Pecan butter
Add a dollop to vanilla ice cream, and sprinkle with a touch of sea salt.
4. Cashew butter
Whisk with lime juice, rice wine vinegar, cilantro, garlic, and chili flakes, and use as a dressing for fibrous veggies such as carrots or kohlrabi.
Nut butters, starting at $6.50 for 8 oz., available at Fastachi, 83 Charles St., Boston, 617-924-8787, fastachi.com.