According to the National Day Calendar website, Feb. 26 is the day for all pistachio lovers to eat their favorite nut all day long!
Pistachios arrived in the United States sometime in the 1880s, but they have been cultivated in the Middle East since Biblical times. California produces about 300 million pounds of pistachios each year, accounting for 98 percent of America’s production.
I personally love to eat pistachios right out of the shell, but I’ve definitely been known to use them in the kitchen from time to time. I’ve compiled a few recipes using pistachios to commemorate National Pistachio Day. I hope you enjoy them, as well as see how this versatile nut can be used in the kitchen!
Recipes wanted! Submitted recipes will be accepted at [email protected], or you can stop by the Albion office and drop a copy off up front. If you don’t have a recipe to submit right now, but there is a recipe you’re desperately seeking, feel free to email or drop off a note for a “Recipe Request.” I’m still requesting recipes that highlight local agriculture as well as your favorite apple pie recipes!
Dried Cherry Pistachio Scones
1/3C granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter frozen
1/2C Greek yogurt (sour cream may be substituted)
1 large egg
1C dried cherries, chopped
1C pistachios, chopped
3 Tbsp melted butter
1C confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture has large pea sized crumbles. Or, if you're butter is frozen grate it on the large-hole side of a cheese grater. Then, simple stir the butter into flour.
In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and egg. Add to dry ingredients. Carefully stir in dried cherries and pistachios. Turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead dough just enough that it sticks together. Form into a 10 inch circle. Using a floured knife, cut dough into wedges.
Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 20-23 minutes until lightly browned.
Optional glaze: While the scones are baking, stir together butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and orange juice. Pour over scones.
***Recipe courtesy of Paula of ‘Call Me PMc’ blog.***
Pistachio Crusted Flank Steak with Peach Puree
1lb. flank steak
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2C unsalted pistachios
2 Tbsp almond meal or flour
1 15-oz. canned peaches in 100% juice
3-4 leaves fresh basil
1/2-inch cube of fresh ginger
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Season the flank steak with salt and pepper, pressing the seasoning into the meat with your hands.
Combine the pistachios and almond flour in a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped.
Spray the steak with cooking spray and then top with the pistachio mixture, pressing it firmly onto the top of the steak. Place the steak on the wire rack and cook in the oven on a low rack for about 20 minutes for medium-rare to medium.
Meanwhile, combine the peaches, basil leaves and ginger in the food processor and process until pureed.
Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Spoon the peach puree over the top of the slices before serving.
***Recipe courtesy of Gina of ‘Running to the Kitchen blog.***
Pistachio Chocolate Bark
8oz. dark chocolate (around 70% cacao recommended)
4oz. white chocolate
1-1/2oz.roasted salted pistachio kernels, chopped
Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or waxed paper.
Melt dark chocolate according to package directions. Evenly spread on the lined baking sheet in an area approximately 8x8-inch.
Melt white chocolate according to package directions. Drizzle white chocolate over dark chocolate. Gently spread white chocolate over dark chocolate, OR (this is much more fun) using a toothpick, swirl white chocolate around in swirly-swirl patterns.
Sprinkle top with chopped pistachios.
Chill in refrigerator about 10-15 minutes, or until chocolate hardens.
Break into pieces. Serve or store in an air-tight container at room temperature until ready to serve.
***Recipe courtesy of Amy of ‘She Wears Many Hats’ blog.***
Halibut with Pistachio Pesto
1C pistachios, shelled
1C fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1/4-1/2C olive oil
salt to taste
salt and pepper
For the pesto:
Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender, using just 1/4C olive oil to start. Whirl to blend and drizzle more olive oil as necessary until desired consistency is achieved. Serve or store in refrigerator in an airtight container or jar until ready to serve.
For the halibut:
Pat halibut steaks dry, rub with olive oil and season both sides of each steak with salt and pepper.
Grill on one side, about 5 minutes, then flip. Cook until there is nice color on the steaks and the fish is just about cooked through (opaque), being careful not to overcook and dry out. The fish should flake easily with a fork. The time it takes for your halibut to cook will depend on the thickness of your steaks and the temperature of your grill.
Top with Pistachio Pesto and serve with lemon wedges.
Note 1: Try this pesto with steak, chicken, pork chops, other white fish or shrimp. Alternatively, use as a pasta sauce.
Note 2: Pesto recipe adapted from Food.com
***Recipe courtesy of Maya of ‘Alaska From Scratch’ blog.***