Pistachios Appear on Menus Across San Diego

Semifreddo al Pistacchio from Bencotto Italian Kitchen
January 16, 2015

Pistachios are going to be big in 2015 and have already been popping up on menus across the country. Though tiny, pistachio nuts pack a big punch when it comes to flavor and chefs around the world are beginning to take note. We've rounded up a few menu options from San Diego restaurants that feature these tasty, green nuts, which are also high in fiber, potassium-rich and heart-healthy. We also have an easy-to-follow recipe for Pistachio Crusted Salmon Sandwich from Draft South Mission Beach that cooks can easily replicate at home!

Little Italy’s Bencotto Italian Kitchen is taking the pistachio one step further, moving it from a simple garnish item to the grand finale. For dessert Bencotto is serving up Semifreddo al Pistacchio, a tangy yet sweet gelato-like dish that is hard to resist. This half-frozen, fresh pistachio mousse is served with warm hazelnuts and a sour black cherry sauce to finish.

The Westgate Room at the Westgate Hotel has always lived up to certain expectations of culinary expertise and their Prosciutto Di Parma Ham salad is no exception. Candied pistachios top this sweet but salty, gluten-free option with warm redwood hill farm crottin and black mission figs in a sherry wine reduction.

At Draft South Mission Beach, guests can enjoy ocean views while diving into their own Pistachio Crusted Salmon Sandwich. Layered with flavor in every bite, this sophisticated sandwich includes a meaty filet of salmon coated with freshly chopped pistachios and served with meyer lemon aioli, arugula and fennel.

To create this dish at home, you’ll need:
  • 7 ounce cut of salmon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • 8 cups roasted pistachios
  • 2 cups Japanese Panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fennel
  • ½ cup of lime juice
  • Zest of 4 limes
  • 4 cups of canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
Begin by brushing the salmon filet with olive oil, salt and pepper before grilling. While it’s cooking, create the Dijon glaze by mixing the brown sugar and mustard together in a small bowl. Cover the filet with the glaze once it is done cooking on the grill (about 4 minutes per side), then coat it evenly with the pistachio crust, which consists of roasted, crushed pistachios, cayenne and panko. In another bowl, mix the champagne vinegar, honey, lime juice, lime zest and canola oil together before tossing it with the fennel and arugula. Serve the salmon on a local artisan bun and top if off with the fresh arugula and shaved fennel to give it a sweet and fresh taste.