How to Cook With Pine Nuts


Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees, and have a sweet, buttery flavor. One of the most popular uses for pine nuts is making pesto with them. But they can also be used as crunchy toppers for salads, and they are excellent in desserts.
Although pine nuts can be eaten raw, they are usually roasted before they are used in cooking. As with most other types of nuts, roasting enhances their flavor. This traditional classic Italian pesto sauce is quick and easy to make, and yields about ¾ cup of wonderful sauce to toss with your favorite cooked pasta.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh pine nuts Peeled garlic cloves Extra-virgin olive oil Basil leaves Salt Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 3 tbsp. raw pine nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, shake the pan, and bake for another 5 minutes. Cool them on a rack and set them aside.

  • Drop the roasted pine nuts and two peeled garlic cloves into the food processor or blender. Process them until they are very finely minced.

  • Add 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and pulse two to three times, just enough to coat the minced pine nuts and garlic.

  • Add 4 cups (about 4 oz.) of basil leaves, ¼ tsp. salt and ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Process until all of the basil leaves are finely minced.

  • Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Tips & Warnings

  • Raw pine nuts can also be toasted in a heavy skillet over medium heat on the stove. Cook and stir constantly until they are golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes.

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