Grilled Calamari And Pistachio Salad by Michael Psilakis

Rating: 
Yield: 
4 servings.
Ingredients: 

For honey roasted pistachios:
2 tablespoons Thyme honey
1/4 cup Pistachios, shelled
Salt and pepper
For pistachio butter:
1/2 cup Pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup Pistachio oil
Salt and pepper
For pistachio vinaigrette:
1/4 cup Pistachios, shelled, crushed
1/2 cup Butter
1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
2 Sprigs thyme
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/3 cup Pistachio oil
For Calamari: 
1 pound Cleaned calamari
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Tart dried cherries
5 Mint leaves, julienne
2 cups Cooked couscous
1 Lemon
Pinch of chives (optional) 

Instructions: 

For honey roasted pistachios:
Add honey and 1/4 cup pistachios to sauce pan over low heat. Stir until honey has been reduced to coat pistachios. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool and reserve for later.
For pistachio butter:
In high speed blender, add 1/2 cup pistachios and pistachio oil. Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve for later. 
For pistachio vinaigrette:
Add 1/4 cup crushed pistachios, butter, olive oil and thyme to sauce pan over medium heat.Toast pistachios with foaming butter until slightly darkened. Transfer to paper towel to drain excess liquid and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer pistachios to a mixing bowl and add champagne vinegar. Stream in pistachio oil while whisking to emulsify. Set aside.
For calamari:
Preheat grill to high. Place calamari in mixing bowl, coat with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 30 seconds on each side.Transfer to small mixing bowl and add cherries, honey roasted pistachios, mint and couscous (prepared according to package). Dress with pistachio vinaigrette, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve
Using a spoon, place a dollop of pistachio butter on each serving plate at 7 o'clock.Drag spoon through dollop to the other side of plate creating a "swoosh." Distribute calamari among plates. Garnish with chives (optional).

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!