Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pricey Pine nuts

I've been experimenting with a new ingredient - pine nuts! I remember having tapas at Sentidos, Star Hill where they served spinach with pine nuts. I thought it was really good! Little did I know that these tiny little nuts were so expensive. I bought a small 150g jar and that cost me RM14.99!

Pine nuts are used in pasta's, desserts, salads and yes, there even is pine nut coffee! I've already tried a pasta recipe with pine nuts but that will be in another post.

Yesterday I cooked up Spinaci con Pinoli e Passerine - sounds classy ya? haha, its actually a very simple dish, basically Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins. Got the recipe from Epicurious.

Spinach - Baby ones would be better, mine were slightly old and stringy already
Olive oil
Onions - minced
Pine nuts - lightly toasted.
Raisins - soak in hot water till they are plump
Salt & pepper

I had a disaster while toasting pine nuts for my earlier pasta dish. I thought I'd just sprinkle some olive oil on it and pop it in the oven. There they were, roasting happily and in a blink of an eye, they became totally brown and started burning! I saved them in the nick of time though now you wouldnt say they were 'lightly' toasted anymore. For how to toast pine nuts the PROPER way:
"Take a dry non-stick pan. Put the pine nuts in it (use no oil) and turn the heat to medium. Shake the pan every 30 seconds and toss the pine nuts. When they are lightly browned, turn the heat off."

Back to the recipe.

Wash the spinach well and remove the stems. Place in a large pan with only the rinsing water clinging to the leaves. Cook over medium heat, turning until wilted. Set aside. Add the olive oil to the now-empty pan and place over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender. Add the spinach, raisins, and pine nuts and sauté briefly to warm through. Season with salt and pepper.


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