Probably best known for their use in pesto sauce, pine nuts have a very delicate taste and texture and are high in protein which makes them especially useful in a vegetarian diet. They can be eaten raw, when they have a soft texture and a sweet buttery flavour and are especially good in salads. They are delicious toasted as this brings out their flavour and adds a little extra crunch.

Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Pine Nuts Recipe

Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 6 to 8.


  • Up to 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (vegetable stock for vegetarian option, gluten-free stock for gluten-free version), depending on the type of rice you are using, or a mixture of water and stock*
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 5 ounces shiitake, cremini, or button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions or yellow onions
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) chopped arugula, watercress, or 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

* The amount of stock you use for this recipe is dependent on the type of rice you are using, and the cooking directions on the package of rice. For example, if your rice calls for 1 3/4 cups of liquid for 1 cup of rice, then use 3 1/2 cups of stock/water for the 2 cups of rice that this recipe calls for.


1. Measure out the stock according to the liquid requirements on your package of rice for 2 cups of rice. Place in a 2 quart sauce pan and bring to a simmer. While the stock is heating, prepare the pine nuts, mushrooms, and rice in the next three steps.

2. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the pine nuts. Toast, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the pine nuts from the hot pan to a bowl, set aside.

3. Return the pan to the heat. Add the chopped mushrooms. Dry sauté the mushrooms (using no fat), stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms give off much of their moisture and begin to brown slightly. Remove the mushrooms from the pan, set aside (can add to the same bowl as the pine nuts.)

4. Add olive oil to the pan and increase the heat to high. Add the white rice, spreading the rice out in the pan and stirring to coat with the oil. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to brown. Mix in the onions, and cook for a couple minutes more, until the onions soften and turn translucent. Add the pine nuts and mushrooms to the rice and remove from heat.

5. Carefully add the rice mixture to the saucepan with the hot stock. Mix in the salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cover the pan. Cook according the the rice package instructions, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of rice. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.

6. Stir in the butter and and chopped arugula, watercress, or parsley. Fluff up with a fork. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Pesto - Recipe with basil, garlic & pine nuts

1. Collect a large amount of Italian basil from your favorite farmers' market or yuppie supermarket. (Don't use Thai basil, as the flavor is strong enough to be bitter in pesto.) Wash and stem basil, then pat dry with a kitchen towel. Pulse several cloves of garlic in the food processer, then add handfuls of basil until everything is chopped. The bowl will be a nice emerald green color.

2. Toast a pan full of pine nuts over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. They will smell nicely nutty when done. Take them off the heat before they reach the desired toastiness, as they'll continue cooking for a while afterwards.

3. Add pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, and salt to taste. The olive oil controls the consistency- add more for a softer blend. More parmesan makes it more crumbly.

If you plan to freeze your pesto, don't add the cheese! It doesn't take freeze/thaws well, and is easy to add after you've defrosted. You can add lemon juice to prevent oxidation.

If the basil turns out to be slightly bitter, you can add some honey or agave nectar. Salt, pepper, chili powder, and Worchestershire sauce are frequent additions. Taste to see what you like. If you're trying to make vegan pesto by skipping the cheese, add more salt and up the nuts and weird flavorings to make up for the taste, as Parmesan is pretty strong! You can make all sorts of wacky versions- forget tradition, figure out what tastes good to you, and create something new. If you come up with a particularly good pesto derivative, put it up as a new Instructable for everyone else to try!

4. When you've added everything, the pesto should look something like this. If you add parmesan cheese, it will be lighter in color. Now dump your pesto on pasta, spread it on bread and cover it with tomatoes, or make a pesto egg crepe.

5. I fill ramekins with the pesto, wrap them in saran wrap, label with the date, and freeze. Don't freeze it with the cheese; it's much better to freeze without, then add cheese after thawing.

Noodle Salad

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 7 min


  • 6 ounces dried somen, or soba noodles
  • 8 ounces shelled edamame
  • 2 big handfuls salad or micro greens
  • scant ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • a few tablespoons of ponzu sauce, to taste
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted peanuts
  • ½ a medium pomelo, segments
  • Topping: garlic or chive flowers, or chopped chives


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt well, and cook the noodles per package instructions. When the noodles are nearly cooked, add the edamame to the pot for a quick swim. Remove from heat, drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and shake off as much residual water as possible.

Transfer the noodles and edamame to a large serving bowl along with the salad greens, and toss well with the toasted sesame oil, and then the ponzu sauce. Be generous, but careful, the noodles really absorb the sauce. Finish with the peanuts, and pomelo. Taste, and take a bit of time to really consider if any adjustments should be made - more sauce, more sesame oil, etc. Top with garlic or chive flower, or chopped chives.

Squash, Barley and Pine Nut Cupcakes


For the glaze:
  • ¾ cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of black tea
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh oregano leaves
For the cupcakes:
  • 4 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 12 ounces of chopped squash
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1½ cups of barley


Place all the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bring them to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until getting a glaze consistency. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush the cupcake pan with olive oil. Toss the squash with olive oil and bake until it is tender. Meanwhile, toast the grains on barley medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed. Add 2 cups of water and continue to cook barley. Place barley in a bowl with the squash, spinach, beaten eggs, milk and oregano. Spoon mixture into cupcake pan and sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake for 20 min.