My confession… I have never toasted pine nuts before, not ever. I’ve roasted a few horse chestnuts after all I am English and the 5th of November, Bonfire Night, is one of our biggest holidays. Bonfire night could possibly be my favourite holiday although I, as yet, am still undecided. It’s always a toss up between Christmas and Bonfire night; Christmas you have the bonus of presents but Bonfire night is just filled with everything warm… but at the moment we don’t need warm, we really, really don’t!
We need cool! We need ice! We need air conditioning!
Yes, Summer has set in on the sunny isle of Malta. It apparently followed Spring. I must have missed Spring. I can’t remember it at all. You think I joke but I really don’t. Malta prefers to have only two seasons – who needs four? That’s just excessive! The two seasons are Winter and Summer, Autumn and Spring barely exist. Sometimes they might vaguely set in and last a few days or perhaps a week if they are feeling a bit stubborn. This year, well… spring just didn’t bother to turn up at all and Summer set up shop before I knew it.
When I was younger I used to go on the ‘Summer holidays’. The English Summer holiday was a necessary right of childhood, when English families in their thousands descended upon France or Germany or, if you had a bit more cash spare, Spain. Anywhere else was so exotic it made you weird rather than cool. Children throughout school would go to the hottest country parents could afford and acquire the darkest tan possible before returning to school where tans would be compared and the one with the darkest tan had a slightly elevated status for a while till all tans wore off and we were back to our pasty little selves. I used to spend as much time as I could in the sun and resist parental attempts to apply sun cream just so I could go back to school with a better tan than my friends. Competitive? Me? Nah! Now, I am in my 40’s and trying to hop between the shady patches so I don’t get too sweaty or have another freckle take up permanent residence on my nose.
Summer and heat kicks off a time of salads because it’s not so great to sweat it out in a hot kitchen with all hobs blazing. Sometimes though, you need to cook because the salad just won’t be the same without it. Enter pine nuts which need a-toasting.
I googled the mystery of how to toast pine nuts and followed the stove top directions from a very nice website called Rachel Cooks. It worked fine for me.
Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- Place the pine nuts in a frying pan over a medium heat (no oil is needed and the nuts should have enough space in the pan to lie flat).
- Stir often to prevent over-browning or burning on one side.
- When they look slightly browned they are done, this should take about 10 mins or less.