February 26 is the world day of Pistachio, also called green gold. This fruit of Asian origins, in fact, was brought to the West by the Arabs. Subsequently, our Sicily with Bronte, Adrano and Raffadali boasts valuable cultivations of this fruit. There are many ways to use it; Often it is consumed alone as a snack or as a main ingredient for desserts, ice cream, etc. In China, the pistachio is known as the “happy walnut“, because it seems that it is smiling and is often given, during the Chinese New Year, as a symbol of health, happiness and luck.
On the occasion of this day dedicated to Pistachio, we want to share with you some excellent Sicilian recipes.
Sicilian Pistachio Pesto
200 g of pistachios;
Salt and pepper;
Extra virgin olive oil;
Peel the pistachios and remove them from the thin purple peel (immerse them for a few minutes in boiling water, and it will come off by itself). Chop them coarsely with a knife, and place them in a mortar. Add a little oil, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. If you want you can also add a piece of garlic, not present in the original recipe. Smash everything with the pestle, adding a tablespoon of water or oil to mix everything. When you have achieved a uniform consistency, your pesto is ready.
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200 g of peeled Pistachios;
200 g of granulated sugar;
800 ml of water;
Remove the purple skin by boiling them for a few minutes in water or roasting them in a non-stick pan.Then put the pistachios in a mixer and operate at maximum speed for a few seconds or until cream is obtained.
Prepare a syrup by dissolving the sugar in a saucepan with water. When it melts, turn off the heat and add the pistachio cream. Stir and let it cool completely at room temperature.
Now, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker for 30 minutes. If you do not have an ice cream maker available, pour the mixture into a container with a lid and place it in the freezer. Make sure to stir it often to break the ice crystals. Prepare it the day before and blend it for a few minutes with the mixer before serving to obtain a creamy consistency.
Ingredients (for 250 gr of cream)
100 gr of unsalted shelled pistachios (natural);
100 gr of white chocolate;
100 gr of caster sugar;
150 gr of milk;
30 grams of butter;
Take the natural shelled pistachios and dip them in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Once drained and cooled, remove the purple skin.
Put the pistachios ut them in a blender with the sugar and add about 1/3 of the milk to obtain a nice mixture.
In the meantime, in a saucepan, heat the rest of the milk over low heat with the butter and white chocolate and stir continuously until the butter and white chocolate melt.
At this point, add the mixture to the pistachio prepared before continuing to mix continuously and always keeping the flame at a minimum until you get a smooth cream and the right consistency. Remove from heat and let it cool, your pistachio cream is ready.
Pour into a sterilised jar, close tightly and place in the fridge.
The homemade pistachio cream, because of the lack of preservatives can be stored in the fridge for 10-15 days at most.
The cream can be spread on bread or used for doughnuts and pies.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Letizia Grasso, Educationalist
“All grown-ups were children, but few of them remember it” This phrase is engraved on my heart. The child who marvels of small things is always with me. I firmly believe that the school should focus on the self-construction of knowledge through direct contact with the outside world and, therefore, through the experiences of life. A school open to life and from life itself learns, that therefore teaches to observe every little thing, to wonder and to ask questions. A school that forms adults who know how to reflect and put into a relationship the mind and heart.”