National Pistachio Day

Today is National Pistachio Day! Here are some interesting facts about the delicious nut:

Nutty Pistachio Facts:

  • Pistachios grow on trees. They are native to the Middle East.
  • Its a long wait to get the first nut. A pistachio tree takes 7-10 years to mature.
  • California is the major producer in the U.S.
  • Pistachios are harvested in September by machines that shake the trees. It less than a minute.
  • The red dye is added to the nuts is only due to consumer demand for the color.
  • Its open hull is unique. The nut is ripe when the hull splits open.
  • People in the Middle East call it the “smiling nut” and in China its called the “happy nut”.
  • Pistachios are nutritious, so eat them up!

There’s no better way to celebrate National Pistachio Day than making the traditional Lebanese pastry Baklava. Enjoy!!

Lebanese Baklava Recipe

Ingredients

1 C Unsalted Butter
24 Sheets of Fillo Pastry
2 1/2 C Pistachio Nuts
3 T Granulated Sugar
1 T Rose Water
Ground pistachio for decoration

Syrup:
1 C Sugar
1 C Water
2 T Lemon Juice
1 T Rose Water

Directions

  • SYRUP: Put all the ingredients in a small pan. Stir on high until the sugar is dissolved stirring occasionally until the syrup is no longer watery. This will take around 5 minutes. Set aside to cool down.
  • BAKLAVA:Melt the butter in the microwave and brush the bottom of the baking pan (15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan) with butter. Lay the first sheet of filo pastry flat, and brush with butter. Do the same with 12 sheets. Set aside
  • Wash the pistachios. Put in a blender, add sugar, rose water and blend until fine.
  • Spread the nuts evenly on top of the filo pastry and cover with the rest of the filo pastry sheets, brushing each one with butter.
  • Brush the last sheet with water before you butter it.
  • Cut the pastry with a sharp knife-in a diamond shape, or any shape of your choice, bake in preheated oven at 375°F for 15 minutes or until golden.
  • Remove from oven and pour the syrup on top while it is hot, sprinkle ground pistachio and serve cold.