Pistachio nuts have been on my mind for a while now. I have been munching away on roasted, salted pistachios right out of the shell, and they’re equally good with a sip of beer or a glass of wine – I have sampled with both! Using pistachios in my cooking for many years now I think they’re worthy of a comeback.
(Spring salad with fiddlehead ferns, baby kale, pistachios and pretzel croutons)
Pistachio nuts in recipes
I discovered pistachios when I was little. My mother made unforgettable Mortadella sandwiches, which are Italian cold cut spiked with pistachios. Later on, bedazzling dishes such as a roasted beet & goat cheese salad showered with shelled and quickly toasted pistachios were menu winners in my restaurant. A sophisticated version of cod encrusted with crushed pistachios received much fanfare at a recent dinner party. The richness and flavor of the nut complimented the rather plane tasting fish perfectly. Don’t forget their significant place on the dessert menu – you can be certain to see glistening green pistachios on top of chocolate dessert and a classy pastel shaded pistachio ice cream makes a refined flavor and color match next to strawberry and vanilla ice cream. Lately, I am a sucker for a house-made pistachio milk available in a store in my neighborhood – it acts like a magnet on me. The other day they ran out of that green awesomeness and I became testy with the guy behind the counter – I know it’s just food but I can’t help it I love that pistachio milk – sorry man!
I don’t think I’m the only one liking the little green devils that much, anyway the marketing board that took on pomegranate juice aka Pomi took on pistachios to get them fashionable again so it’s more than likely a matter of time before they land in front of you.
I love the following recipe because it shows how pistachios can add a sophisticated touch to a dish.
Sweet Potato Soup with Pistachios
(recipe yields four portions)
1.5 pounds sweet potatoes (same sized)
32 ounces chicken broth
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 small jalapeno pepper
3 ounces pistachios, toasted in skillet
1 tablespoon, flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1. Rinse sweet potatoes with water and place on an ovenproof dish. Bake sweet potatoes in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1.5 hours or until soft when pierced with a knife.
2. Peel sweet potatoes.
3. In a pot combine chicken broth, sea salt, cayenne and sweet potatoes then bring to boil.
4. Blend mixture in a kitchen processor.
5. Cut jalapeno into small rings and remove seeds and white inner jalapeno walls.
6. Poor soup into bowls and sprinkle with parsley, jalapeno rings and pistachio nuts.
(sweet potato soup with pistachios)
Besides the good looks pistachios are a good source of vitamin B6 and Beta-carotene and fiber. Like many other nuts pistachios may affect cardiac health adversely so muncher beware.