New to pine nuts - how to use, store?
How are they different from, say, peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc? Do you cook them before you use them? How long do they keep? What is the best way to store them? Thanks!
I just keep them in a jar on the shelf. They move fast, around here. I roast them in a cast-iron frying pan with no oil, stirring constantly, because once they start to brown, they burn fast. Then I thrown them on top of salads or make them into pesto with basil, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil.
You can eat them as is, but they're best (as are all nuts) when lightly toasted, which releases their oils and heightens their flavour. They are great in salads and pasta dishes (such as penne with broccoli and pine nuts), and are common in the various cuisines of the Middle East.
Pine nuts, as all nuts, should be stored tightly wrapped in the freezer to prevent rancidity.
I buy the Costco-size bag and put it in the freezer. When I want some I throw them in an aluminium pie plate and preheat the oven to 350. By the time the oven has preheated the pine nuts are thawed out and I place them in the oven for 10 minutes. I ALWAYS set the timer because it's easy to forget about them and they turn golden fast once they start.
I recently made a leftover white rice salad with a vinegarette and basil, parm, lemon juice, sundried tomatoes, and pine nuts. You get the picture. like a decontructed pesto.
I also made pasta puttansca and added pine nuts at the end and that was great.
They're good in couscous for additional flavor and texture.
Toss them in green salads for crunch.
They're really quite versatile.
I've toasted them in a small pan in the toaster oven-- I'll ditto the warnings about watching them, because they start to burn very quickly. I make a very simple salad (from a Nigella show) with baby spinach, avocado, fresh lime juice and olive oil and some toasted pine nuts. Yum! Of course, you can also use them in pesto, italian cookies, etc.
Rockycat, are the tarts you're speaking of pasticiotti? I've never attempted them, but they're DELICIOUS.
I store sealed in the fridge with no problem - I get through them in 2-3 months max so they don't hang around a long time. I toast them lightly in a frying pan over medium heat WITHOUT oil until they are a light golden brown. I add them to:
salads (esp. yummy with: Mandarin orange slices; goat cheese and dried cranberries; dried cherries and asiago, etc etc)
pasta with random veggies and pesto or just olive oil and lemon juice
kibbeh! (sort of a Lebanese lamb meatloaf!)
They are very tasty and nutritious - use them anywhere you would use a savory nut and I think you will quickly learn to love them!