A favourite of the Queen of Sheba, the pistachio is believed by some to be an aphrodisiac, making these the perfect treats to share with your Valentine.
1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted dates
1/2 tsp (2 mL) orange flower water
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
Pinch ground clove
1/2 cup (125 mL) pistachios, coarsely chopped
3 sheets of phyllo pastry
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
1 tsp (5 mL) toasted sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Place dates in small bowl and pour boiling water over to cover. Let sit for 5 minutes; drain and put in bowl of food processor along with orange flower water, cinnamon, and clove. Pulse until a paste forms, but don’t worry if it is not smooth. Transfer to bowl and stir in pistachios.
Cut phyllo sheets in half lengthwise, then again crossways. To prevent pastry from drying out, cover with plastic wrap and then a damp towel.
Working with one phyllo rectangle at a time, brush phyllo lightly with olive oil. Place 1 Tbsp (15 mL) pistachio mixture along short end of phyllo rectangle, leaving about 1 in (2.5 cm) on either side. Roll to enclose mixture, folding in sides after first complete turn.
Place seam side down on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush again lightly with olive oil. Repeat with remaining phyllo rectangles. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm honey in small saucepan over low heat. Brush warm pastries with warm honey and sprinkle with sesame seeds and transfer to wire rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature alongside orange slices, if desired.
Makes 12 pastries.
Each serving contains: 166 calories; 3 g protein; 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 23 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 47 mg sodium
source: "Be Mine, Vegetarian Valentine", alive #352, February 2012
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