Pistachio Berry Vineyard Pears

4 servings.

4 Fresh Bartlett or Bosc pears
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or other full-bodied red wine
¾ cup Sugar
Zest of 1 orange (colored part of peel)
4-inch piece Vanilla bean
1 cup Fresh or thawed frozen unsweetened raspberries or blackberries
¼ cup Natural American pistachios, chopped
4 large Mint leaves or sprigs


Pare pears, leaving stems; core from bottom. Place in saucepan, add approximately 2-inches water; cover pan and bring to boil. Simmer 10 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain and cool. For sauce, combine Cabernet, sugar, orange zest and vanilla bean in wide saucepan. Bring to boil uncovered. Boil about 15 minutes, evaporating sauce until reduced to approximately 1 cup. Discard orange zest and vanilla bean. Add berries and cook 1 minute; cool. To serve, roll pears in pistachios to coat. Spoon sauce into shallow dessert bowls. Stand pears in sauce. Put mint leaves onto pear stems.

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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!