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Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘pine nuts’

I’m always looking for a fresh, new salad dressing and when I learned how easy this one is to throw together, I was thrilled.  My mother-in-law Cille served this to us this summer and I’ve made it a handful of times since.  I tend to double the recipe so I have it in the fridge for the next night or two.  Great on a salad with toasted nuts/seeds, avocado, edamame, and/or chopped yellow peppers.  Enjoy!

Japanese Style Sesame Dressing

Recipe slightly adapted from La Tourangelle Artisan Oils.

 

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Blend ingredients thoroughly and enjoy.

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I love the Orzo and Spinach Salad that Whole Foods makes and thought about replicating it at home.  A quick search on the internet brought me to one that sounded promising, and I made a few modifications.  This salad can be served cold or at room temperature and would be great to bring to your next BBQ.

Orzo & Spinach Salad

Recipe adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked orzo pasta (can be whole wheat)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb crumbled feta cheese (2 cups)
  • 1/2 small red onion, very finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in spinach, feta, onion, pine nuts,olives, basil, salt and pepper. Toss with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature.
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I love a tasty wheat berry salad any time of year.  Wheat berries are so healthy (filled with fiber, protein and iron) and they have a wonderful chewy texture and a nutty, earthy flavor.  This is my favorite recipe that I’ve tried so far – it’s salty, sweet, nutty and chewy.  Since this recipe yields about 3 cups, I sometimes double it since it’s great leftover for lunch or dinner (or bites in between).  It’s best served warm or at room temperature.   Note: I make a vinaigrette with my leftover basil dressing — I just add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.

Wheat Berry Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts and Basil

Recipe from the blog Whipped.

Wheat Berry Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts & Basil
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
1 cup soft wheat berries, rinsed
3 cups water
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more as needed
1 cup loosely packed basil plus 5 additional large leaves chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3  cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine the wheat berries, water and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy, about an hour or so. The berries should stay al dente, and the only way to be sure they’re done is to taste a few. Chewy but firm. Drain and season to taste with more salt.

To make the dressing, put olive oil and 1 cup clean, loosely packed basil leaves in a blender with a pinch of salt. Drizzle desired amount over wheat berries and stir to coat.  You can also substitute a store bought pesto mixed with extra olive oil to make it runny enough to use as a dressing.

Toast pine nuts in a pan or oven (I use a toaster oven) until light brown.  Toss pine nuts, crumbled feta and ribbons of basil into the salad.

HINT: Stack basil leaves on top of each other.  Roll them up the long way to create a “cigarette” shape.  Slice it very thin (1/8 inch).  You will have nice ribbons of basil for garnish or salads.

 

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I love this simple arugula salad – the peppery arugula, the nuttiness from the toasted pine nuts, and the zing from the sherry vinegar make a nice combination.  This is great served with a grilled cheese or pizza!

Arugula Salad

Arugula Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Arugula, washed and patted dry

1 tablespoon pine nuts

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (good quality)

Sea salt flakes (Maldon)

Directions:

Toast the pine nuts in toaster oven for 2 minutes or until lightly browned (be careful not to burn!)  Set aside to cool.  In a small bowl prepare sherry vinaigrette: combine 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar and a pinch of sea salt flakes; whisk in 2 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Grab three handfuls of arugula and toss into a medium mixing bowl.  Add pine nuts and as much sherry vinaigrette as you desire.  Toss and season to taste with more salt, if needed.

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