Pistachios seem to be the nut du jour and a new health-food darling, offering plenty of nutrients, fiber, and mostly unsaturated fat.
That they are now readily available already shelled likely counts for a good part of their appeal to anyone who sells prepared foods. They suit savory and sweet dishes alike.
For swordfish kabobs, the spring green nuts are blended with coarse cornmeal and parmesan cheese into a toothsome light coating. Serve these juicy cubes of swordfish individually with the zesty dipping sauce, or make them into kebabs with fish alone, or even add alternating slices of red bell pepper, onion, and zucchini.
Yield: 8 (3-cube) kabobs or 24 individual cubes
Prep time: 30 minutes
Shelf life: 1 to 2 days
8 (6-inch) bamboo skewers or 24 long toothpicks
Non-stick vegetable spray
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, preferably not non-fat
- 2 ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Thai red chile paste, or to taste
- ¾ cup shelled pistachios
- ⅓ cup coarse cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 24 (1-inch) cubes swordfish with skin removed, cut from 1-inch thick steaks (about 1 pound)
- Soak the skewers in water for at least 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick vegetable spray.
- Make the dipping sauce: In a bowl, blend together the yogurt, mayonnaise, shallot, parsley, lemon juice, and Thai chile paste. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In a food processor, combine the pistachios, cornmeal, Parmesan, salt, parsley, and pepper and pulse until fairly fine. Transfer the mixture to a flat bowl.
- Lightly spread mustard on all sides of the fish cubes. Roll them in the pistachio mixture until evenly coated, slide three cubes onto each skewer (or one cube on each toothpick), and lay in the pan. Bake for 7 minutes. Turn the broiler to high, position the pan near the heat, and cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 15 seconds per side. Remove and serve with the dipping sauce.