Pine nuts are one of my favorite things to use in cooking, but most people only know how to work with pine nuts when they’re in pesto. This is a crime against cooking, in my eyes, and I would like to fix this situation by giving you a few new recipes that you can work into your monthly routine.
Nuts on the Side
Let’s start with a super simple side dish: Spinach and Pine Nuts. This dish is just what it sounds like: cooked spinach with pine nuts on it. If you are going to try this recipe, I would suggest toasting the pine nuts in the oven until they are golden brown and using just a splash more olive oil. In truth, I don’t measure that often unless I am baking, and even in that, I usually feel it out. So I would suggest that you use about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown the minced garlic and black pepper in it.
The next recipe I thought would complement things that you already make, like grilled chicken or shrimp, is Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts. This recipe is also a simple and quick recipe that is not hard to follow. The only thing that I changed was that I added a dash more pine nuts because I really like the flavor. But other than that, this recipe is great and super simple to make. You can also add cooked mushrooms if you are one of those people that likes to change things up.
Since my husband loves bacon, you can thank him for the next recipe: Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon. I wouldn’t change anything about this dish. I haven’t found a lot of recipes with cauliflower that I like, but this is a great one. It’s simple, just like the other recipes, and complements other dishes well.
Truly Nutty Main Courses
Now let’s talk main courses. I really think you should try Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts. I don’t like brussels sprouts (I guess it has something to do with the fact that they look like alien heads or something), but this recipe has redeemed them for me. The only thing that I would change is I would add garlic and red pepper flakes while cooking the brussels sprouts because I love garlic and I think most things are better with it. You can also add a squeeze of lemon to the dish before you serve it. You might want to try it just as it is written first, though, because the recipe is great just as it is.
The last recipe that I would like to share with you is Parmesan and Pine Nut Crusted Chicken Breasts. Now I know that this one sounds a little intimidating, but I can promise you it isn’t. The only thing that I did differently was I twice breaded the chicken breasts. If you don’t know what I mean, don’t even worry about it; the recipe is fine on its own.
If chicken isn’t up your alley, you can go with salmon. I found this recipe, which is almost the same things as the chicken. I would suggest giving both recipes a try before you make your mind up — that is, if you don’t have a burning hot hatred of chicken or something.
I hope that you take as much pleasure from these recipes as I did. Pine nuts are truly a great little thing to add into your monthly cooking regimen. I challenge you make at least one of these recipes this week! Now get to cooking.
Photo Credits: rofi, Umami, and itsonlythat.