About a month ago, I had my first taste of halloumi — a Greek cheese made of goat and sheep’s milk — what an experience. Perfectly seared and served piping hot with a drizzle of honey, I ate it atop torn pieces of a fresh-baked tender flatbread. So good. Initially hesitant about ordering a dish made solely of cheese, I'm now obsessed with this less-common cheese. The flavor is strong and salty, very different from other cheeses I’ve eaten before. It also has a higher melting point, allowing you to grill or fry slices without it losing its integrity. Halloumi is a wonderful and flavorful addition to many salads. I’ve paired the salty cheese with juicy pears and a light maple vinaigrette in this salad that is good to serve whenever you can get your hands on a ripe pear. Feel free to swap out the spinach for another green, or try a different fruit — in the summer, I’d pair cubes of halloumi with sun-ripened watermelon and fresh baby arugula. Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Healthy Greens.
This is a colorful and delicious salad with an interesting mixture of textures and tastes. The currants and pine nuts add an unusual Mediterranean piquancy.This recipe is from "Helen Nash's New Kosher Cuisine" by Helen Nash (The Overlook Press, 2012) and was originally published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Butternut squash is such a staple of the fall season that approaching the ingredient with creativity is absolutely essential. Instead of roasting it for a side or using it to make a soup, try featuring the squash in a pasta dish, like this one, for fettuccine. — Maryse Chevriere
Joining the ranks of my all-time favorite zucchini recipes is this one for zucchini "pasta." It's got it all going on: creaminess and tang from the goat cheese, brightness from the citrus, crunch from the pine nuts. Enjoy it as a side dish or as a light and healthy weeknight meal.
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Fiddlehead ferns have a slightly nutty flavor when cooked, and so I thought fiddleheads, toasted pine nuts, and salty, slightly funky pecorino would be a good combination. Lemon zest brightens things up a bit, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil at the end seals in all the flavors.
Click here to see Make Dinner More Interesting — 8 Great Side Dish Recipes.
This is an easy and flavorful weeknight meal that takes about 25 minutes to put together. Treat yourself to an elegant-looking yet simple dish that combines the fantastic flavors of feta cheese, slightly bitter spinach, and toasted pine nuts with moist chicken breasts. The recipe is for one person, but you can easily double the ingredients to make it for two.
To read more about the recipe and to watch a how-to video, visit Ashley's blog, Practical Cooking For One.
I can't remember when I first discovered the combination of fresh peas, lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and toasted pine nuts. But I definitely have to credit my youngest sister with my obsession. She would mix the three ingredients together, often when leftover from dinner preparations, and eat them out of a big bowl with a spoon. The sweet peas with the creamy pine nuts, paired with the salty feathers of grated cheese? Heavenly.
While it took me a couple of years of simply enjoying the combination until I began to crave it come spring, I’m now a convert. However, my favorite combination has two added ingredients — fresh basil pesto and sometimes, cooked pasta — taking this from a post-school or work snack to nearly a complete meal.
I love to make a big batch of this pasta salad on the weekends to have for a nutritious dinner during the week. It's also a great dish to make and pack for a summer picnic. I find the flavors are best when I use fresh spring peas and basil from the farmers market.
Ramps, if you've never had them before, are wild leeks that pop up with a very limited season during the spring. They taste a bit like scallions — spicy and pungent, but with fresh herbal notes. The leaves form a deep green pesto that's got more kick than any other pesto you've probably tasted, even arugula. So, a little goes a long way then. Use with caution.
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As a perfect addition to pasta, vegetables and meat, pesto should be on your desert island must-haves list. Next time you're at your local farmer's market, pick up some garlic, basil and pine nuts for this quick homemade pesto recipe.This recipe is courtesy of Emily Paster, West of the Loop.
Forget about ordering a side salad with your slice — you can just pile your greens right on top instead. This combo features blue-cheese crumbles, which add a big kick of robust flavor for a fraction of the fat you'd get from a standard mozzarella-loaded piece. And best of all, there's zero cooking required.