The good news is this superfood is also very versatile, as Leonard Cseh, chef lecturer at the University of Derby, whose team made it through to the final of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2018, demonstrates…
- Warm chocolate brownie, pistachio crumble, milk ice cream
Melt some good quality dark chocolate with some salted butter in a bain marie. Whisk in eggs and sugar, then gently fold in sieved flour and cocoa powder. Make a simple crumble with sugar, butter and flour and add the chopped and roasted pistachios. Make a basic ice cream from sugar, egg yolks, warm cream and milk. Churn until set. Serve a nice warm piece of brownie with a roche of ice cream sprinkled with your crumble.
- Pistachio baklava, Turkish delight, figs and raspberries
A luxurious dessert for those special occasions. Make some Turkish delight from raspberries, lychees, sugar, rose water, icing sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Take some filo pastry, pistachio nuts, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon and butter to make your baklava. Douse this in a sugar syrup infused with lemon juice. Dress your plate with a slice of baklava, pieces of torn fig, raspberries and, if you have time, a fig sorbet.
- Heritage beetroot salad with goat’s cheese and pistachio granola
Make a dressing by combining olive oil, rapeseed oil, Chardonnay vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, tarragon and seasoning. Make a simple granola by combining roughly chopped pistachios, oats, mixed seeds, salt, honey and nut oil of your choice. Roast some beetroot with some herbs, oil, seasoning and water until tender. Scatter baby leaves on your plate, add the beetroot and small chunks of goat’s cheese. Scatter the granola, dress the leaves and sprinkle torn mint leaves.
- Pistachio butter
Take some roasted pistachio nuts, blend with coconut oil or a non-flavoured oil so that it emulsifies. Blend until smooth and store in a jar in the fridge. This can be used as part of a high protein diet or used in sweet or savoury dishes. It can also be a great accompaniment for lamb or just spread on toast as a replacement for peanut butter.
- Crab and pistachio crusted cod with broad beans and blistered tomatoes
Take some finely chopped fennel and shallots, sweat them in butter, add panko breadcrumbs, finely chopped pistachios and seasoning and cook out a little until the butter has been absorbed. Cool, add finely picked crab meat, lemon zest and herbs of your choice. Toss some ripe tomatoes in olive oil and cook in a hot pan until blistered. Add to a bowl with some red wine vinegar, olive oil and shelled broad beans and rest. Rub some rapeseed oil onto a cod fillet and cook in a dry pan for 3– 4 minutes a side. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle/pat the breadcrumb mixture on top and place under the grill until golden and crisp. Serve in warmed bowl with the tomatoes, beans and dressing.
About Leonard Cseh
Len started his career at 14 as a pot washer. His formative chef years were spent in Italy working my way through the kitchen brigade. He returned to higher education and then moved to the USA working in private country clubs on the East Coast. Upon his return into the UK, he worked in various Michelin and red star hotels. He is now a senior lecturer delivering degrees in a culinary curriculum at the University of Derby.