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Beyond nibbling: pistachios as appetizers, with fish, as tidbits.

Distinguished by their slightly flowery flavor and golden green color, Californiagrown pistachios have become widely available. Although they make fine nibbling, they also make an inviting, attractive choice as a nut to cook with.

For a noteworthy appetizer, try pistachios in a topping for baked mushrooms or zucchini slices. Mixed with bread crumbs, the nuts make a tender crust for oven-fried fish. Or melt sugar and spices with them for a sweet tidbit.

Pistachio-topped Mushrooms or Zucchini 20 mushrooms (about 1 1/2-in. caps), or

2 zucchini (about 6 in. long) About 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed 2 teaspoons mustard seed 1 large egg

About 3/4 CUP shelled salted

pistachios 3/4 cup shredded jack cheese

Rinse and drain mushrooms. Carefully break stems out of caps. Mince stems. (Or rinse zucchini, trim off ends, and cut each diagonally into 10 equal slices.)

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, combine mushroom stems (omit for zucchini), I tablespoon oil, onion, garlic, and mustard seed. Stir often over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and onions are slightly browned, about 5 minutes; let cool. Stir in egg, 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, and cheese.

Meanwhile, generously brush vegetables with oil. Set mushrooms, cup side down, (or zucchini slightly apart) in a 10- by 15inch rimmed baking pan. Bake in a 400 [degrees] oven until golden and liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes; after 5 minutes, turn vegetables over. Remove from oven; turn temperature to 325".

Spoon filling equally into caps or onto zucchini slices. Top each piece with I or 2 whole pistachios. Bake vegetables until filling is tinged golden brown, about 15 minutes. Pick u to eat. Makes 20.

Per mushroom: 73 cal; 2.8g protein; 6 g fat, 2.4 g carbo.; 27 mg sodium; 17 mg chol.

Per zucchini slice: 68 cal; 2 g protein; 6 g fat, 2 g carbo.; 27 mg sodium; 17 mg chol.

Pistachio-crusted Fish Fillets 1/2 cup shelled salted pistachios, finely

chopped 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs 1/2 cup minced parsley 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 large egg 4 skinned and boned white-flesh fish

fillets (about 4 oz. each), such as sole or orange roughy 1/4 cup (1/8 Lb.) butter or margarine 2 green onions (ends trimmed), thinly

sliced 1 tablespoon drained capers

Lime or lemon wedges (optional) Salt

On a sheet of waxed paper or foil, mix nuts with crumbs, parsley, and pepper. In an 8- to 9-inch-wide pan, beat egg to blend. Dip fillets, 1 at a time, in egg to coat. Drain briefly, and press each side of the fillet into the nut mixture to coat well. Lay fillets well apart in a greased 10- by 15-inch pan.

Melt butter in a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and capers, and stir just until onions are brighter green. Holding onions and capers back with a spoon, pour butter evenly over fish. Bake in 4500 oven until fish is opaque in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 10 minutes. With a wide spatula, transfer fillets to 4 dinner plates and top equally with onion and caper mixture. Offer lime wedges to squeeze onto fish; add salt to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 353 cal.; 28 g protein; 22 g fat; 11 g carbo.; 345 mg sodium; 154 mg chol. Sweet Spiced Pistachios

1 cup shelled, salted pistachios 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon

and ground mace or ground nutmeg

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, shake the pistachios frequently until they're hot and golden, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, and mace over nuts; stir until sugar melts and coats nuts with a glossy finish, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture onto a sheet of foil. When cool, break the nuts apart and serve, or store airtight up to 1 week. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Per tablespoon: 39 cal./ 1 g protein; 2.6 g fat; 3.4 g carbo.; 0.4 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Jul 1, 1989
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