CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review… Pine Nuts…

Welcome to Friday Food reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…The Pine Nut.

This teardrop-shaped, delicious little nut is often used in making pesto and in the cooking of other dishes. Pine nuts (also called pignoli) are the edible seeds of pine trees. Seeds are the inner, usually edible part of a hard, inedible nut casing.

Which pine trees produce these expensive little nuts then…From about 120 species of these evergreen conifers of the pine family (Pinaceae), found throughout the world Approximately 20 species of pine trees produce pine seeds that are large enough to harvest.

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).

Why is the Pine Nut so expensive…?

Ahhhhh that makes sense now…

Pine nuts… those tiny little gems are packed with flavour. Also known as piñón, pinoli or pignoli, they’re most associated with Mediterranean cuisine but go great as a garnish in so many recipes.

Perhaps the most well known of the pine nut recipes, pesto is a classic Italian sauce with a load of garlic, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil, along with our favourite pine nuts. This sauce is super versatile and is great on pasta, pizzas and salads. It also makes a tasty marinade.

As pine nuts are so expensive my aim is to use them in as many recipes as possible like these ones below by just enhancing the recipes with a 1/2 cup of pinenuts can make so much difference…

Though pine nuts are not a standard ingredient in hummus, they are used in this recipe to greatly enhance the flavours. Your favourite dip has never tasted so good…Just make this easy hummus recipe…

Then toast a handful or half a cup full of pine nuts then garnish the hummus with the pine nuts a drizzle of good olive oil, some dried oregano or black pepper or some crushed juniper berries whatever you fancy …Its looks and tastes delicious…

How about a nice crusty bread with a soft interior with great cheesy nutty flavours….Just take your favourite bread recipe then add 1/3 cup of pine nuts and 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese and cook as normal …I will be making this for New Year but will use my Dutch Oven recipe and add the pine nuts and parmesan…I tried some bread with pine nuts and parmesan at a local Japanese bakery which is what gave me the idea when I was thinking how I can make a pack of pine nuts go a long way…

Coq au vin is a lovely one-pot chicken dish add a garnish of toasted pine nuts and it is taken to the next level. Tender melt in your mouth chicken braised in wine with dried apricots, tons of fresh herbs and garnished with pine nuts. This one can’t be missed!… It is definitely one to try…

We love fish…  baked fish gently seasoned with lime/lemon and garlic then garnished with fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts…maybe a few olives…Delicious.

Brussell Sprouts with pancetta, cranberries and pine nuts…those Brussels are in the news again it’s that time of year. Brits love Brussels…

  • 6 ounces pancettadiced medium or bacon.
  • 2lbs Brussels sproutstrimmed and halved
  •  Salt and pepperto taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  •  tbsp  balsamic vinegar
  •  cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries.

Let’s Cook!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In an oven-safe 12-inch pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crisp. Remove with a
slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the Brussels sprouts to the empty skillet, season
with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally until they start to brown. Remove from the
heat and stir in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, tossing once or twice. Increase the oven
temperature to 425 degrees F, stir in the pine nuts and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and stir in the pancetta and dried cranberries.
This recipe serves 4-6 people but is quite easy to halve for two of you…

Soup...There is nothing like a warming bowl of homemade soup…want to jazz it up a little make it look extra special then take 1/4 cup and toast the pine nuts, 1/4 cup crème fraîche, some chopped chives, and parsley, A broccoli floret… Garnish the top of your soup and ….Serve.

I hope this has given you some ideas as to how you can spread this little packet of pine nuts a long way…not only are they tasty but they are nutritious…Pine nuts are rich in magnesium, iron, antioxidants, zinc, and protein, which can help with diabetes management, heart health, and brain health…

Any recipe which calls for the addition of nuts then you can substitute other nuts like the Walnut…Both walnut and pine nuts are high in calories, dietary fibre, iron, potassium and protein. Pine nut has more niacin, however, walnut contains more Vitamin B6 and folate. Pine nut is a great source of Vitamin E. Walnut is an excellent source of calcium.

They slightly vary in some nutrients but overall both are good nuts to add to a healthy diet…

The next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a pack of these delicious little gems. They may look expensive, but a little goes a long way… as I have demonstrated above…

Thank you for joining me today I hope you have enjoyed reading about the healthy little pine nut and if you want to join in the conversation and leave a comment you are welcome as we love to chat over here and share tips…See you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets it will also be New Years Day and the beginning of another New Year …Carol xx



40 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review… Pine Nuts…

  1. dgkaye

    Thanks for sharing about pine nuts and why they’re so danged expensive. I love them, but save for treats to add crunch and such as the price is alarming lol ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      My pleasure, Debby it wasn’t until I did some research that I realised why… I thought it was just here that the cost was high but a little goes a long way with pine nuts.. 😀 Xx

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Cindy…I certainly hope I can keep cooking….Pine nuts are certainly a beautiful nut and enhance many dishes….Happy New Year may you have a blessed one with happiness, peace and good health xx


  5. beetleypete

    I use them sparingly, because they are so expensive. But I did buy a tiny frying pan just for toasting them a little. It is my ‘pine-nut pan’. 🙂
    Best wishes, and Happy New Year.
    Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review… Pine Nuts… – MobsterTiger

  7. Cathy Cade

    Love ’em! I sprinkle them on my salads. They’re a staple of my cupboard but, once opened, they have to be eaten. They taste like cardboard if you keep them for too long. (That’s my excuse, anyway.)

    Liked by 1 person

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