If I could throw pine nuts in all my food, I probably would. I just love the flavor and texture, especially lightly toasted.
Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees. They are small elongated ivory-colored seeds from pine cones, measuring about 1/2 inch long. When raw, the seeds have a soft texture and a sweet, buttery flavor. They are often lightly toasted to bring out the flavor and to add a little crunch.
The most commonly harvested seeds come from four particular pine tree varieties: the Mexican pinon (Pinus cembroides), the Colorado pinion (P. edulis), the Italian stone pine (P. pinea), and the Chinese nut pine (P. koraiensis). It takes anywhere from 15 to 25 years for the trees to begin producing the seeds and up to triple that time for them to reach top production. The majority of the North American harvest comes from wild, uncultivated trees. For the most part, the seeds are harvested by hand, a contributing factor to their expensive pricetag.
The first time I had whole pine nuts was on a pizza at a restaurant in Sacramento. That restaurant went out of business a few months after my visit so I had to try to recreate that recipe! It was one of the best pizzas I had that was not tomato based! The pizza was so basic that it was like I smacked my head, “Why haven’t I ever thought of that?” This is the list of ingredients: Pizza crust, pesto sauce, toasted pine nuts, and mozarrella cheese. That’s it! OH SO GOOD!
This is my “every day” way of using pine nuts.
Brenda’s Chicken Pilaf
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 green bell peppers, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 3 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and pine nuts. Saute until onions are opaque and pine nuts lightly browned. Next, add garlic, spices, peas bell peppers, carrot and rice. Continue to saute until rice turns white. Now, add chicken stock and salt (TO TASTE: I never add salt to my chicken stock when I make it, so I always have to add more salt than is typically called for in a recipe). Cover and turn heat down to low. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, sprinkle with cilantro and serve. Serves 4 to 8.
Fettuccine with Creamy Basil-Pine Nut Sauce
Originally from: A website no longer in existence
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup light ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 (9-ounce) package fresh fettuccine
- Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Place the garlic in a food processor, and pulse 2 to 3 times. Add basil and the next 5 ingredients (through the pepper); process until smooth. Stir in pine nuts. Cook pasta
according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Combine pasta and sauce in a large bowl; toss well. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
Yield: 3 Servings
Broccoli With Bacon and Pine Nuts
Date: Mon Jan 17, 2000 9:49pm
- 13 ounces broccoli florets
- 2 bacon slices, chopped
- 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. pine nuts
- 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. fresh chives, chopped
Place broccoli in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam 5 minutes. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook 2 minutes. Add broccoli and pine nuts and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until broccoli is just tender. Stir in chives. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per Serving
Basil Dill Cream Sauce
Date: Sun Jan 2, 2000 2:07am
I got the original recipe from a book called “Herbal Vinegars” by Maggie Oster. I have made it twice now (LOVE IT)and have changed it some (use crushed red pepper instead of
red pepper sauce and added dill when served with fish). Serve over pasta, steamed vegetables, or grilled chicken or fish. I think it is great on long grain wild rice too.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
- 8 oz. low-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 cup basil white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup plain nononfat yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup fresh dill (best used when served w/vegetables or fish)
For a richer sauce use regular cream cheese and regular yogurt. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.
And look what I found: