Pistachio, Apricot & Ricotta Challah Toasts – The Recipe ReDux {sponsored contest}

Pistachio, Apricot & Ricotta Challah Toasts | Teaspoonofspice.com


Disclosure: Pistachio Health Institute compensated The Recipe ReDux (co-owned by ReganMillerJones, Inc. and Teaspoon Communications), to sponsor this recipe contest and also provided samples of in-shell pistachios. We are not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

The latest Recipe ReDux sponsored recipe challenge is actually NOT a recipe challenge.

Instead, the fine folks at the Pistachio Health Institute challenged us ReDux bloggers to come up with the most delectable snack by pairing in-shell pistachios with certain food and drink.

This idea was a nice change of pace, not having to worry about exact measurements, oven temperatures, specific recipe directions, etc. To me, the main challenge was how to narrow down all the yummy foods you could pair with pistachios – what to do?

In the end, I came up with this pairing:
In-shell pistachios + fresh ricotta cheese + dried apricots + challah or brioche bread + Prosecco

Let’s break it down:
In-shell pistachios: So, the cool thing about buying pistachios still in their shells is 1) they are fairly easy to find and 2) you have to do a little work for your food which can help keep your noshing in check vs. grabbing a handful of nuts and popping right into your mouth. In fact, two behavioral studies showed if you keep the discarded shells around, they act as a “visual cue” and you probably will consume less calories.

And check this out —>A one-ounce serving of pistachios = about 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.

Pistachio, Apricot & Ricotta Challah Toasts | Teaspoonofspice.com

Fresh ricotta cheese: A few weeks ago for the first time, I made homemade ricotta  from this Chicago Tribune recipe (It’s easy to make and oh so good. Just pick up cheesecloth from the household aisle at your grocery store and you’re good to go.) Ricotta is a clean, fresh, slightly sweet cheese so even just the pistachios + ricotta = deliciousness.

Challah bread: Since ricotta is a light, soft cheese I thought Challah, the egg based Jewish braided bread would be a great match and it is. French brioche bread would work too.

Dried apricots: I wanted a fruit from the Mediterranean region but also one that I could get during the winter so dried apricots rose to the top (and this point I’m dipping a bit into North African pairings.)

Prosecco: Both me and the hubs love a glass of the bubbly and we don’t wait for special occasions to drink it. More often than not, we have a bottle chilling in the fridge. Our go-to is Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine (I usually just get what’s on sale.) As for American versions, my favs are Sofia Blanc de Blancs from Coppola Winery and the Domaine St Michelle sparklers from Chateau Ste Michelle.

Pistachio, Apricot & Ricotta Challah Toasts | Teaspoonofspice.com

You could just serve all these foods on a board and have guests eat any way they’d like but I took this pairing a step further and made pistachio challah toasts. I toasted the challah, spread on ricotta, topped with dried apricots and pistachios, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves.

And between you and me, I may have also enjoyed this pairing for breakfast the next day with a lovely mimosa.

Pistachio, Apricot & Ricotta Challah Toasts | Teaspoonofspice.com

All this week, ReDuxers will be sharing their creative pistachio pairings in the following categories: Mediterranean, Kid-Friendly, Skinny Nut (Reduced Calorie) and Indulgent in the thumbnail photos below. So get out a dish for the empty shells and try one of these pistachio snack combos or get inspired to come up with your own unique pairing!

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  1. Mmm this is definitely a perfect pairing, if you ask me! I love that you went on to make crostini out of it!
    Joanne recently posted..Rosy Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese FrostingMy Profile

  2. Um, can’t wait til you see my pairing 😉
    Regan @ The Healthy Aperture Blog recently posted..Shrimp and Beer Cheese BisqueMy Profile

  3. I love light snacks like this while sitting out on our patio. Prosecco would be wonderful to bring out the flavors in the apricots, cheese and salty pistachios. <3
    Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily recently posted..A Perfect Mediterranean Tapas Table for Back Yard EntertainingMy Profile

  4. Yum! Your pairing sounds and looks delicious. I’ve never made ricotta cheese from scratch before. Thanks for the link on how to do it.

  5. This looks just about perfect to me. I’ve been wanting to make homemade ricotta, too — glad you said it was easy. Love this pairing!

  6. I just love this! You can never go wrong with cheese and toasted bread! Love the idea of having this for breakfast with some mimosas by the way…will have to try that soon!!
    Selena @ thenutritiouskitchen.com recently posted..{Recipe Redux} Kid Friendly Pistachio PairingMy Profile

  7. Yum! I love ricotta with sweet and salty pairings. And homemade ricotta is soooo delicious!
    Rachael@AnAvocadoADay recently posted..Grilled Eggplant with Pistachios and Honeyed Goat Cheese {sponsored contest}My Profile

  8. Wow, Deanna, this combination sounds scrumptious and your photos make me want it right now! I would never have thought to make homemade ricotta, but boy I bet it’s good! Now if the ricotta is made from whey protein, it must be a good source of bcaa including leucine. (I’m filing away that piece of information!)
    dianeboyd recently posted..Pistachios; Fit to a Tea!My Profile

  9. Now you have me convinced that I need this for dinner. I love any type of soft bread like challah, and some salty ricotta and crunch from pistachios sounds divine! Now I need to snack on some pistachios at my desk until lunchtime!
    Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon recently posted..Pistachio Pairing with Coconut Chips and Chocolate Dipped PineappleMy Profile

  10. I love these flavors – apricot, honey and fresh thyme?? I need to try that! Yumm.
    sandra recently posted..indulgently rich avocado panna cotta paired with in-shell pistachiosMy Profile

  11. Deanna, the ricotta on challah, with honey and thyme sound perfect with salted pistachios. A little bubbly doesn’t hurt either!
    Cindys Recipes and Writings recently posted..Mini Veggie Quesadillas for #SundaySupper #GameDayMy Profile

  12. Wow I love ricotta on toast, I can only imagine how good apricot would be as a topping :)
    Sarah Grace recently posted..In-Shell Pistachio Pairing: Gingered Pumpkin Wedges, Honey drizzled Pear, and a Coconut Ginger Tea CocktailMy Profile

  13. Deanna, where’s the basket? This looks like the perfect picnic food… pistachios, cheese, bread, wine and fruit for dessert. Yum!
    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits recently posted..Sweet Potato Hash with Apples and MintMy Profile

  14. Such a perfect pairing!! Salivating :)
    Francesca recently posted..7 Toppings To Make Your Salad More SatisfyingMy Profile

  15. such beautiful photos!!! this pairing sounds delightful!
    Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean recently posted..Pistachio Pairings ChallengeMy Profile

  16. Ricotta and apricot! I think I just died, that sounds delicious. I have a little naughty snack I like to have when I have leftover ricotta-saltine crackers, ricotta and jam. I’ve always wanted to make homemade ricotta. I think if I do I would want to eat it fresh like this. : )
    Crystal S. | Apples & Sparkle recently posted..Strawberry-Mango Quinoa SaladMy Profile

  17. Gorgeous! And love the combo of apricots & ricotta. Looks amazing. And must try making the homemade ricotta! Maybe on an upcoming snow day :)
    Jenny Shea Rawn recently posted..Pistachio Pairing with Oranges, Dark Chocolate, Fondue with Sourdough Pretzels and Cava {Recipe ReDux}My Profile



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