Pine nuts are the small elongated ivory-coloured seeds found in pine cones (pine trees). When raw, the seeds have a soft texture and a sweet, buttery flavour. They are generally toasted to accentuate the flavour and transform the texture from soft to crunchy. Pine nuts are handy to have on standby in the pantry. Note - Pine nuts have a very high natural oil content and quickly burn when toasted in a pan. It is best to toast them over moderate heat in a non stick pan (rather than in the oven) where - out of sight + out of mind = burnt!
Uses and Ideas! ©
- Add pine nuts to a pan with butter, allow to colour till golden, add chopped chives, lemon juice, grated lemon zest and serve over pan fried veal or grilled fresh fish fillets e.g. sardines, whiting, garfish etc.
- Toss toasted pine nuts till golden & sprinkle over fresh leaf salads, garden vegetable salads, pasta salads or hot pasta dishes.
- Add pine nuts, fresh basil and chilli to sautéed vegetables e.g. zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, green beans or spinach
- Puree pine nuts with garlic, fresh basil, parmesan and olive oil to make fresh pesto - Serve as a dip with toasted ciabatta or as an accompaniment with grilled chicken, veal cutlets or sautéed prawns. Also serve pesto tossed through fresh pasta of choice.
- Use pine nuts when making lamb Kibbeh (spiced lamb mince) or baklava or other Middle Eastern sweet pastries