Pistachio Pairing with Oranges, Dark Chocolate, Fondue with Sourdough Pretzels and Cava {Recipe ReDux}

I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Pistachio Pairing
In-shell pistachios. They make me think of and dream of summer. Summer on the beach on the Cape or the Islands, where we crack open a handful then bury the evidence in the sand or throw the shells into the dunes. We always carry a zip lock full of these smiley skinny nuts beach side usually accompanied by something sweet – watermelon slices, strawberries or dried cherries (all natural pairings). Dreaming of those sand filled days as we sit under yet another foot of snow. Sigh. But pistachios are not just for the summer time, even though that IS my favorite time to eat them. Pistachios are for cracking all year long.

This month’s sponsored Recipe ReDux contest is all about in-shell Pistachio Pairings. What food(s) and beverage(s) go well with pistachios. In-shell pistachios+Food A+Food B+Drink C = greatness. I knew I had to combine flavors and textures for a salty, crunchy, sweet, bitter, sour, savory and creamy luxurious treat.

This indulgent pairing combines crunchy and salty in-shell pistachios, bittersweet dark chocolate, sweet and sour orange slices, savory 3 cheese fondue (recipe below… must make) and sourdough pretzels. Heaven. But wait. Paired with Cava, Spanish sparkling wine. More than heaven! We have fallen in love with Cava ever since our trip to Barcelona in September where we visited the Cava caves. Take me back. This fondue is made with 3/4 cup Cava. The rest is for you to drink and share. This pairing is perfect for Valentine’s Day – just cut back the portions – or for a cocktail party indulgent platter.

Pistachio PairingMatch made in pistachio heaven.

Pistachio PairingHere’s how to prepare the pairing that serves 4-6 people, depending on appetite and serving occasion:

  • On a platter or nice cutting board, add 1 cup in-shell pistachios, 1 sliced orange, 4oz chopped dark chocolate, plenty of sourdough pretzels (we love Snyder’s) and the three cheese fondue (recipe below). Serve with glasses of Cava sparkling wine. Indulge and love every second of it.

DYKs about Pistachios:

  • Pistachios are a deliciously simple way to snack healthy. A one-ounce serving of pistachios equals approximately 49 nuts, which is more nuts per serving than any other snack nut, and a reduced serving of about 30 pistachios is just about 100 calories. In-shell pistachios are a great protein and fiber packed snack.
  • Empty pistachio shells may serve as a “visual cue” of how many pistachios you’ve consumed, so don’t discard the shells after you’ve enjoyed the treat inside. Those visual cues may help encourage reduced calorie consumption. Note to us: no more tossing pistachio shells into the dunes, keep them in plain sight!
  • Learn more about the health benefits and fun facts on pistachios here: www.PistachioHealthInstitute.org.

Recipe for Three Cheese Fondue

*Recipe note: I haven’t had fondue in years – actually probably a decade or more. This was SO easy to prepare and SO delicious for a special occasion indulgence. We will definitely make this again.

Serves: 4-6

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz fontina cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz swiss cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ¾ cup Cava (Spanish sparkling wine)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sourdough pretzels

Directions:

Toss shredded cheese in cornstarch to coat – this helps prevent the cheese from clumping. In a saucepan, heat Cava to a simmer over low heat. Add lemon juice, garlic powder and salt. Add cheese slowly, stirring in a zig zag pattern (so cheese doesn’t ball up) until fully melted. Don’t over stir and don’t boil. Transfer to fondue pot set over a low flame. Serve with sourdough pretzels.

Find more great in-shell pistachio pairings here:

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • SErena February 7, 2014, 9:14 am

    Love how you thought through the pairing (for me!) to get the perfect flavors and textures for a salty, crunchy, sweet, bitter, sour, savory and creamy! Agree…I’m sick of no sunny beach trips! Great fondue w the Cava!

    • admin February 8, 2014, 5:27 pm

      @Serena thank you! Great combination of flavors & textures. And, bring on the summer!

  • wendy jo February 8, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Yum! Right up my alley with this pairing!

    • admin February 8, 2014, 5:28 pm

      @wendyjo thank you! Can’t go wrong with the combination … esp with fondue & cava 🙂

  • Sarah Grace February 10, 2014, 4:10 pm

    I LOVE pretzels. This pairing sounds delicious with the cheese fondue! And of course, the dark chocolate certainly gets my tummy craving some 🙂

    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

  • Sally Squires, MS March 1, 2014, 1:46 pm

    Just happened on your site. This really does sound delicious. I write the Perfect Portions blog for Everydayhealth.com. Glad to know you are out there.
    Thanks,
    Sally

    • admin March 7, 2014, 10:06 am

      @Sally, thanks so much for stopping by! Going to check out your Perfect Portions blog as well. Hope to meet you in person someday soon!

  • Elizabeth @ Eating Local in the Lou March 24, 2014, 6:59 pm

    Congrats to you on being one of the pistachio pairing winners!

    • admin March 24, 2014, 7:32 pm

      @Elizabeth, thank you! Had lots of fun playing with the pairings. And it was a good excuse to have fondue for brunch 🙂

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