Post #37 February 16th, 2021
Who doesn’t need a little Zen? And who doesn’t deserve three and a half minutes of peace and quiet without distraction??
Salads are popular at my house and people ask me to bring my salad to their houses. So I have some salad secrets! One of them is that I use Pinoli nuts – – – the edible seeds of pine trees. They have become pretty pricey at the grocery store. I usually get mine at Costco, where they are about $20/bag. It seems like a lot, but I keep them in the freezer so they don’t go rancid…and they last for months! And just a tablespoon or so makes a big difference in your salad. However, they are only delicious if you toast them!
I was first introduced to Pinoli nuts by our friend Lisa. She had this cute little tin tower that had little drawers where she toasted her nuts. I have never seen this item anywhere else, so I had to improvise. For years I would be distracted in my meal prep and consequently BURN my EXPENSIVE pinolis!! So recently, I realized I could be successful every time if I just focused on one thing: slowly stirring my nuts in a nonstick pan for three and a half minutes to golden-brown perfection. I add garlic salt and some pepper to about 1/4 or maybe even 1/2 cup of nuts, put it on medium heat, and stir while they brown. Don’t stop stirring. Be zen, or they will get too toasted!! I use some of my newly toasted nuts on my salad, and the rest in an airtight container in the fridge….usually enough for a week.
My other secret is how I season my finished salad. I’m talking about your basic salad of greens, maybe some olives, scallions or sliced red onion, celery, etc. You get the idea. Then I sprinkle it with garlic salt, a few grinds of the pepper mill, and some dill—- dried is always in my cupboard—- and tarragon. Put a half teaspoon of dried tarragon in your palm and rub your hands together over the salad. Now, a nice olive oil and a balsamic vinegar ( plain or fancy fruit variety.) Of course, you can choose another dressing, or your favorite bottled dressing.
These are “secrets” I give gladly, because they are really simple and basic. Anyone can make a DELICIOUS SALAD!
Hope you will try them out…and ENJOY! Ciao for now! Patty ✌️🐥👩🏻🍳💕❤️
p.s. Any time you can use fresh herbs in your salad is great. In the summer, we have some in the garden. In winter, I find the fresh herbs are too expensive—-especially if I end up not using them in time before they spoil. So I keep the dried versions year-round “just in case!”