I got an email a few days ago from the Western Pistachio Association asking if we’d like some recipes (I chose one from Chef Art Smith below). It came at a funny time, I had not thought about pistachios for a very long time. I’m actually happy I got the email (and three 2 0z bags of pistachios). They are a great snack, perfect beer food. Unlike chips or other snacks they are super healthy full of nutrients and low in fat.
Here are a few nutritional facts I found on line:
- They are loaded with Potassium (1 oz of pistachios has more Potassium than 1/2 of a banana)
- Have tons of dietary fiber
- Are a great source of B6, copper, phosphorus and thiamin
- They are cholesterol free
- They may increase antioxidant levels and reduce LDL cholesterol
Sure, shelling them can be a pain, but isn’t there something lovely to having to work to get to a reward? Besides, they are so addictive that after eating the first, shelling them becomes almost automatic. And better still, California is a huge producer of pistachios, so if you’re trying to do your part in the local movement, eating pistachios is an easy way. Question is what can you do with pistachios besides eating them out of the bag? There are lots of great options to use when cooking. Just remember to peel off that little skin that remains on them when you shell them, this can affect the flavors when you are cooking.
I asked some of my favorite chefs to share their best pistachio recipes with me, so now both you and I have some recipes to try out:
Chef Jennifer Cole’s Pork Trotter Carpaccio with Green Pistachio Vinaigrette and Tempura Herbs
4 pigs feet
1 tbs black pepper grains
Cook pigs feet til very tender. While still hot, debone and place on a doubled sheet of plastic wrap. Roll much in the way of forming a maki making sure to remove all air. Let freeze. Cut with slicer and place on plate.
2 tbs finely ground green pistachio
zest and juice of 1 lemon
half cup of extra virgen olive oil
parsley leaves, chives and basil leaves
1c of flour
half a cup of rice flour
mix to a slightly runny texture
place herbs in batter, coat and fry
Thalassa Chef Ralpheal Abrahante Pistachio Crusted Mediterranean Sea Bass
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoon chopped shallots
1/2 cup white Greek dry wine
1 lb. Sea bass (or any mild white fish) cut into two portions
1c roasted chopped pistachio nuts
1/4 lb. Sliced gravera cheese
5pc Sliced pitted kalamata olives
1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Brush sea bass with olive oil and garlic, season with Salt, pepper and oregano then coated with pistachio nuts. In skillet on top of stove, sear on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until brown. add wine, olives, Shallots continue to cook for 3 minutes then add slices graver cheese to the top of the crusted fish.
Cover, turn to low heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until done remove from heat on transfer to deep plate and top with organic micro greens.
Gravera cheese: Hard in texture, mild in taste, this cheese resembles Swiss or Gruyere in texture.
The Green Nut Chef Art Smith’s Pistachio Herbed Salmon Cakes
1 ½ pounds cooked salmon, flaked
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped pistachios
¼ cup whole grain bread crumbs
1 pinch sea salt and 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup whole grain bread crumbs, for dredging
¼ cup chopped pistachioss
For Salmon Cakes: Place all ingredients for salmon cakes in a bowl, and gently mix together. Mix until just combined. Form into 4-ounce balls and flatten into cakes.
For Crust: Mix additional bread crumbs and pistachios together
Dredge salmon cakes in the crust mixture to keep them from being sticky. This also creates a great crust. Refrigerate until well-chilled, about 2 hours.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Remove cakes from refrigerator and place in the hot skillet. Cook until the undersides are golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Transfer the cakes to a baking sheet and keep warm while making the remaining cakes.
Serve hot with lemon wedges or with salad as a great lunch or dinner.
Sel Et Poivre Chef Christian Schienle’s Pistachio Pudding
1pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding
1-1/4 cups water
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp. almond extract
7 drops green food coloring
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
HEAT oven to 350°F.
BEAT all ingredients except sugar with mixer until well blended.
POUR into greased and floured 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan.
BAKE 50 to 55 min. or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 10 min. Loosen cake from sides of pan with knife. Invert cake onto wire rack; gently remove pan. Cool cake completely.
SPRINKLE with sugar just before serving.