Tag Archives: pine nuts

Courgette and lemon pasta

30 Jan

DSCI0405My husband is not very keen on vegetarian meals so when I said I was making this to use up some courgettes my friend Erica had given me his face looked like he had sucked a lemon.  In spite of this he tucked in with relish, cleared his plate completely and grudgingly declared ‘it wasn’t bad’. I thought it was absolutely lovely. It was light and refreshing and the pine nuts gave it a lovely nutty flavour and added crunch. I will definitely be making this again no matter how much he protests and begs for meat!

Pine nuts are very good for you. Here are a few nutritional facts.

  • They are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid (18:1 undifferentiated fat) that helps to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good-cholesterol” in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which contain good amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • Pine or cedar nuts contain essential fatty acid (ω-6 fat), pinolenic acid. Recent research has shown its potential use in weight loss by curbing the appetite.
  • They are an excellent source of vitamin E; contain about 9.33 mg per 100 g (about 62% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • Furthermore, pines are one of gluten-free tree nuts, and therefore, are a popular ingredient in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas. Such formula preparations can be a healthy alternative in people with wheat food allergy, and celiac disease.
  • They are an excellent source of B-complex group of vitamins.
  • Finally, pine nuts contain healthy amounts of essential minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.  Consumption of pines helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

I couldn’t find this recipe on the Woman and Home website so I have written it out below.

Courgette and lemon pasta                 Serves 4

  • 225g /8oz spaghetti
  • 450g / 1lb courgettes, grated
  • 50g /2 oz pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper
  1. Cook the spaghetti as per packet instructions.
  2. Zest both the lemons and juice just one of them.
  3. Drain the pasta when cooked and return to the pan.  Add the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, courgettes and pine nuts.
  4. Toss together and serve immediately.

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Baked lemon sole – light and healthy

17 Apr

DSCI0057 This was such a delicious recipe and so light. It is perfect for a Summers day and even good enough for a dinner party.  I always used to shy away from having tomatoes with fish but have gradually come to realise they make an excellent combination.

I found this recipe in my Billingsgate Market Cookbook.  I bought it in a Charity Shop for just £5, an absolute steal.  Not only include fantastic recipes, all fish of course, but also tips on how to prepare the fish – filleting, preparing squid etc.  It is one of the few cookery books I have actually read from cover to cover!

This recipe is simplicity itself. It takes barely 20 minutes from start to finish and is absolutely gorgeous.

Here it is:

Lemon Sole with Roast Tomato, Basil and Parmesan     Serves 2

  • 2 small lemon sole, whole, filleted (ask your fishmonger to do this)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 small tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp freshly shredded basil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6
  2. Skin the fish and lightly season on the skinned side.  Fold the fillets into three to make small parcels.
  3. Transfer the fish to an oven-to table dish and tuck the tomatoes around the sides. Sprinkle the fish with the olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan and a little black pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the tomatoes are beginning to soften but not break up and the fish is cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle the top with the basil and balsamic vinegar and serve straight from the dish.

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