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!”

Three and a Half Minutes of Zen…in Your Kitchen!

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6 thoughts on “Three and a Half Minutes of Zen…in Your Kitchen!

  1. Patty. You are so sweet to give me credit for the toasted pine nuts. That was a long time ago. Living in Mexico I now almost always toast pepitos. They make a huge difference in a salad. Try them yourself. Less expensive than pine nuts and add a flavor just as unique.
    I also get asked to bring salads to events often.
    Here’s to us the salad queens. Xoxx

  2. I love salads and I love patty’s salads. They always taste delicious. When I began treatment for cancer(29 years ago), my “cancer” doctor, known as “The Maverick MD” ( newly published biography), told me I must have at least two salads a day! It was imperative for me to have fresh greens daily to heal my body and recover from cancer! So I am advocate and fan of salads of all types and varieties . Eat away my friends, for your health and well being.

  3. Patty!!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve over toasted. Thanks for the tips… let’s plan on a fresh herb salad this summer xoxo

  4. Oops! I have to remind myself to check before I hit send: we would love to get together for a fresh herb salad next summer!!

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