Of all the gems from the Middle East, not a single one entertains my palate the way the Pistacia vera seeds do, whom you might also know as pistachios. The first time I tried them was with my father, who bought be toasted pistachios with salt for by siblings and I. I had a lot of fun picking off their shells, to lastly discover a beautiful shade of green. It was like extracting emeralds from those delicious seeds. It’s probable that such an easy, but so special, preparation is the most common one you’ll find, but there are a lot of special ways to use these seeds. Have you ever tried pistachio ice cream? Bellow, we will give you 3 recipes that I hope you try.
Pistachios, as I’m sure you noticed by my introduction, are native to central Asia, and it seems as if they have always enjoyed a good reputation, so much so, that they even became part of the legendary hanging gardens of Babylon. This P. vera enjoys dessert climates, and we should mention that these seeds that we enjoy are not nuts, but rather form part of the heart of the meaty fruit grown in large amounts on the pistachio tree. The area surrounding the seed is slightly open, leaving remainder of this fruit’s hard skin to form a type of shell. In fact, it is part of the same family as mangos, Anacardiaceae.
Even though pistachios contains important fats, the majority of them are mono-saturated, which are beneficial for regulating cholesterol levels in the blood. They are rich in vitamin B6, which helps us produce energy, and good functioning of the central nervous system. They provide iron for maintain our immune system, and can provide complete proteins in the same amounts that soy does. They could truly be a valuable nutritional supplement in our diet, which is why I am leaving you with these recipes:
Pasta with pistachio sauce
- 1 c. pistachios, without shell, and broken up
- 300 grams fusilli pasta
- 2 c. plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. paprika
- ½ clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
- Cook pasta in salt water. Try to follow the package instructions. When finished cooking, drain water and save pasta.
- In a frying pan, add salt, garlic, and butter.
- Add yogurt, paprika, pistachios, salt, and heat on medium heat. Stir until thickens. Add cheese, and mix.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and mix. Serve. You can decorate your plates with a few sprinkles of dried parsley.
Pistachio breaded Chicken
- 1 c. pistachios, without shell
- ½ c. breadcrumbs
- 500 grams chicken breast, skinless
- 1 c. sliced mushrooms
- ½ c. carrots
- 8 cambray onions
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp. mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a bowl, mix olive oil, honey, and mustard.
- In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and pistachios.
- With a brush, paint chicken breast with the honey and oil mixture. Add salt and pepper to chicken breasts.
- Cover the breasts with the breadcrumbs and pistachio mixture.
- On a tray, with a bit of olive oil, place a bed of vegetables and mushrooms, add a bit of salt, and place chicken breasts on top.
- Bake at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes. Try to make sure the chicken is well cooked, there should not be any pink left. Serve the breasts with the vegetables to the side.
Yogurt gelatin with pistachios
- 2 c. plain Greek yogurt
- 1 c. pistachios, without shell or salt
- ¼ c. honey
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 ½ tsp. unflavored gelatin
- 40 ml. water
- 300 grams peach syrup
- Mix yogurt with honey, heat on medium heat, and remove before boiling. Add the Tbsp. of vanilla extract and pistachios, mix.
- Add 3 Tbsp. of water to the gelatin, mix well without leaving any lumps. Let set for 10 minutes until the water is absorbed.
- Melt gelatin in the microwave, or follow package instructions.
- Add gelatin to the yogurt, and pour into a mold that you want it to set in. Add a bit of oil to the sides of the mold to prevent it from sticking. Refrigerate until it sets, and the gelatin is firm.
- Process the peaches with their syrup and heat until it thickens.
- Serve gelatin with sauce.