It never fails. Every time I toast pine nuts on the stove top I hear “What are you making? YUM!!!” from the other room. That being said, we’re already off to the right start with this recipe. Add toasted pine nuts to a simple salad of organic arugula, Parmesan, and my homemade dressing and you’re sure to have a winner! As you know, I love my signature homemade dressing recipe – I shared it with you here on the blog waaaay back in 2009. In it’s many variations, it is delicious on just about any salad with the various toppings that you concoct.Method: Wash and dry the arugula and place it in your favorite big salad bowl. Toss it with about 1/2 cup (a handful) of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (aka Parmesan) cheese and set it aside (preferably covered in the refrigerator) until you are ready to serve it.
How to toast Pine Nuts: Do NOT be scared to try this. It’s a very easy process! Toasting them brings out an intense nutty flavor. It makes the nuts more firm which will allow them to hold up to your salad dressing. As I mentioned before, it also makes your kitchen smell incredibly delicious! Let’s go!! Turn your stovetop on to medium low and place about a cup of pine nuts into a dry fry pan. No oil is needed, the nuts will omit their own. Shake the pan frequently to avoid burning the nuts. Once you see most of them turning golden, take the nuts off the heat and transfer them to a cool plate. Don’t keep them in the hot pan, or they will continue to toast after you remove them from the heat. Voilà, toasted Pine Nuts!
Salad Dressing Recipe: I particularly like this dressing made with balsamic vinegar for this super-duper easy arugula salad recipe. I barely ever even measure the ingredients anymore, I just eyeball it. Homemade dressing tastes so much better than the bottled variety! Simply whisk together 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2T minced garlic, and 1T honey. Please note that because I use Parmesan in this salad (which is already a bit salty) I omit the salt in the salad dressing recipe that I shared here.Right before you are going to serve the salad: Add the cooled nuts to your salad bowl. Dress the salad insuring that the leaves all have a light coat of dressing on them. If you accidentally add too much dressing, (as my heavy hand sometime does) be sure to have an extra handful or two of arugula to add into the mix – that should solve your “too much dressing” issue in a heartbeat.