Friday, May 22, 2009

Make Your Memorial Day Meal Memorable and Healthy

Looking for a way to spice up your Memorial Day barbeque and break out of the traditional pasta or potato salad mode? The Western Pistachio Association recommends incorporating pistachios into your Memorial Day meal for a tasty, yet healthy option.

Nuts like pistachios have immense health benefits and are an easy way to improve cholesterol levels and reduce the effects of stress according to recent research conducted by Penn State University and the University of Toronto. In fact, pistachios are a great source of protein and potassium and provide more dietary fiber than any other nut.

The below recipe for an arugula, “pickled” strawberries, candied pistachios and crumbled blue cheese salad by celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein is a great way to add some piazza and nutrition to your Memorial Day celebration. You can find Michelle’s recipe along with other celebrity chef’s pistachio recipes on the Western Pistachio Association’s website

Arugula, “Pickled” Strawberries, Candied Pistachios, Crumbled Blue Cheese Salad

This fresh salad melds the perfect amount of summery sweetness, enhanced by the deliciously salty pistachio- great for any time of the year!

Chef Michelle Bernstein
2004 James Beard Award Nomination for Best Chef in America Southeast Region
Michy’s Restaurant - Miami, FL

Yield: 4 Servings


2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

1 cup Pistachios

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 bay leaf

2 cups strawberries, stemmed, cut in quarters

4 cups Arugula, cleaned

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

½ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper


Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Heat the sugar and water together. Toss the pistachios into the mixture. Spread onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Remove and season immediately with sea salt. Allow to cool.

Remove from the pan, chop into small pieces.

Heat the brown sugar and vinegar with the bay leaf. Place the strawberries into a bowl over another bowl filled with ice. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the strawberries and allow to cool. Remove the strawberries from the vinegar; reserve the vinegar for another use.

To Serve:

Combine the Arugula, cheese, strawberries with the olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place on 4 plates, top with the candied pistachios.

Nutrition Facts:

(Amount per Serving): Calories 520, Total Fat 44g, Saturated Fat 7g, Monounsaturated Fat 28g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 760mg, Potassium 560mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 9g

1 comment:

Carlene said...

My cousin makes a salad very similar but she does not use arugula but some other type of greens lettuce. I think I will make this for my Memorial Day Salad.