Pistachio Lemon Bread

IMG_2302Hello you all– Still using lemons from the trees of my buddy Ruth.  This bread is beautiful for the sugar-sour glaze that soaks into the bread after it’s cooked.  The glaze delivers lots of lemon flavor–perfect to nibble on with a cup of black tea.  Mmmm.

PISTACHIO LEMON BREAD

Bread:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
grated peel of one large lemon

Stir together the oil, sugar, eggs and milk.  Then mix in the flour, salt and baking  powder.  Finally,  fold in the pistachios and lemon peel.  Spoon the batter into a standard bread pan– or 2 smaller pans* sprayed with cooking spray.   Pop the lemon bread into a 350 even for 35 to 40 minutes until the bread is firm to the touch.

IMG_2312Glaze:
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar

Stir the sugar into the lemon juice and pour directly over the bread hot from the oven.  Leave the bread in the pans to cool and soak up all the lemon glaze.  After it’s cooled cut into beautiful lemon-y, nutty slices.

IMG_2295

Blackberry Nectarine Salad

IMG_1626Hi friends– It happens every year– I wait for the first little handful of boysenberries to come ripe and this was the week!  The temptation is to pick them them too soon–still pinkish and not really sweet.  But finally there were enough ready to toss into a salad with some sweet nectarines and salty pistachios and here it is:

BLACKBERRY NECTARINE SALAD
2 cups leaf lettuce torn in bits
2 cups arugula
1 large ripe nectarine, sliced
1 cup boysenberries (or any blackberries)
1/3 cup pistachios
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
salt & fresh pepper to taste

Layer the greens, nectarine and berries.  Sprinkle on the pistachios.  Shake together the oil, vinegar, sugar and salt & pepper in a container with a tight lid to emulsify it all.  Pour on the dressing just before you are ready to serve it up.

3 or 4 servings.

Apricot Pistachio Chicken

Hello there–  Well, I saw an interesting recipe in a magazine for lamb with apricots and pistachios.  I thought, “That might be good with chicken,” so I tore out the page and then promptly misplaced it!  Ugh.  After looking high and low, I gave up and collected a few variations online and then set out to make my own version.   I liked the pretty color and it did taste lovely at dinner last night.  So here is what we finally set on the table…

APRICOT PISTACHIO CHICKEN
2 boneless chicken breasts
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
1 14 oz. can apricots (or fresh if you have them!)
1/4 cup salted, roasted pistachios
1/2 cup chicken broth*
1 tab. cornstarch

Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise to make four flat filets.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes total.  Remove and chicken and cook the onion until it starts to brown.  Open the apricots and save the juice.  Take half the apricots and mince them finely.  Cut the other half into happy little chunks.

When the onions are cooked, throw in the minced apricots, chicken broth and the apricot juice and set the chicken back into the pan.  Simmer the chicken and sauce on low for about 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

When the chicken is done cooking, remove it to a serving platter with rice or couscous and turn to heat up to high under the sauce in the pan.  Shake the cornstarch and about a half cup of water together in a closed container and stir it slowly into the sauce until it thickens nicely.  Then stir in the remaining apricot chunks and the pistachios and pour the sauce over the chicken and serve it up!

*I don’t usually have just a half cup chicken broth on hand, so I dropped 1/4 of a Knorr chicken bullion cube into 1/2 cup boiling water and it worked just fine.