A colorful and tasty twist to an old favorite.
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon Cointreau, plus more to taste (optional)
- ½ cup Grand Marnier, Marsala, sweet wine or sherry
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1½ packets (10.5 ounces) Savoiardi Ladyfingers
- 2 cups mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or seasonal fruit
- 1 cup nuts of choice (Try a different nut on each layer, such as roasted hazelnuts, sliced almonds, chopped macadamias, and pistachios.)
- Line an 8×8 high-sided dish (or 9-inch rectangle) with parchment paper to make it easier to lift out.
- With electric mixer, beat egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar until pale, creamy and doubled in volume. Remove from bowl and scrape down sides.
- Whip ricotta and mascarpone with remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in the Cointreau and egg mixture and whisk until well combined. Don’t overmix or you’ll lose the volume.
- Place the juice and Grand Marnier in a shallow dish. Dip ladyfingers in mixture just enough to moisten. (Be careful not to keep them in too long or they will fall apart.) Lay close together on the bottom of the dish.
- Spoon half the mascarpone mixture over top, followed by a layer of fruit. Scatter half the nuts over top. Repeat layers, end with a scattering of nuts.
- If there is any liquid remaining, drizzle a little over the top. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Enjoy this salad with crackers or in a tortilla wrap too.
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons sour cream, light if preferred
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup julienne or diced apple (tart apples are best such as Granny Smith, Fuji or Honeycrisp)
- 1 cup sliced celery
- ½ cup red grapes, halved
- ½ cup roasted walnuts and pecans (or nuts of choice)
- 2 endives, sliced lengthwise
- 1 small radicchio, shaved
- Whisk together the yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season to taste.
- Place apple, celery, grapes and nuts in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix well.
- Combine lettuces and arrange in a bowl, top with apple mixture, and serve straight away with some crusty bread.
Bring a seasonal touch to this recipe:
- Pears and pine nuts
- Papaya and cashews
- Strawberries and pistachios
- Figs and hazelnuts
- Cantaloupe and almonds
This breakfast has lots of variations. The grains you use are totally up to your taste preference, and the more you use, the greater the nutrient content, flavor and texture. You can cook a week’s worth ahead of time, and store sealed in the refrigerator, so all you have to do is add the accompaniments. If you want gluten free, go for quinoa, millet, whole oats or even grits for a Southern twist! Other great grains are farro, barley, and rye. All have different cooking times, so be sure to read the package before cooking.
- 1 cup cooked grains of choice
- ¼ cup apple or orange juice
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup fruit of choice, such as berries, peaches, apple or pear
- ½ cup chopped mixed tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and/or walnuts)
- Toss the grains with the juice in a bowl. Spoon over yogurt and berries and scatter with nuts. If making a savory version, omit juice and spoon toppings over cooked grains.
- 1 cup cooked grains of choice
- Topping suggestions: Sautéed spinach, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, avocado, bacon, poached egg and/or fresh herbs
- Toasted nuts
Tree nuts add a crunchy twist to this Avocado Toast.
- ¼ cup mixed nuts, roughly chopped (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, macadamias and/or walnuts)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons spicy seasoning of preference. such as cajun, Sriracha or tabasco
- 2 thick slices grain or sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons Ricotta cheese
- 1 avocado
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup arugula
- 2 poached eggs, optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss nuts with butter then add chili seasoning to taste. Lay on a baking tray and roast for 6-8 minutes or until aromatic and starting to brown. Allow to cool.
- Toast bread and spread with ricotta cheese. Lay slices of avocado over cheese, then sprinkle with lemon and season. Place a small mound of arugula on top, then scatter spicy nuts over top.
- If desired add a poached egg.
What a delicious way to start your morning, with a mix of blueberries and your favorite nuts.
- 4 cups self-rising flour (for plain flour, add 2 teaspoons baking powder per cup of flour)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 ounces butter, chilled
- ½ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios (or nuts of choice)
- ½ cup blueberries (or seasonal fruit)
- 1¾ cup milk or buttermilk*
- 2 teaspoon milk, plus extra
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or brush with melted butter.
- Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in sugar.
- Dice butter into small pieces and add to flour. Rub butter lightly with fingertips through the flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (You can also use a food processor, pulsing until texture is reached.)
- Add nuts and blueberries and fold through, careful not to break up blueberries.
- Make a well in the center and pour in milk. Stir quickly and lightly with a knife until mixture forms a dough, then turn onto a floured board. Knead gently to a smooth dough.
- Press dough out to 1-inch thickness then cut into desired size (in triangles or circles) and transfer to prepared trays. Brush with extra milk and transfer to center of oven.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool slightly on wire racks.
- Serve warm, spread with jam and a spoon of yogurt (or, if feeling luxurious, double cream).
*Buttermilk adds an airy lightness and slight tang to the finished bread.
- Pumpkin puree with the classic spices added to the milk (use less milk), and pecans is a true American breakfast.
- Peaches and sliced almonds
- Add unsweetened cocoa to flour and roast hazelnuts
- Pears and walnuts
- Dried currants and cranberries with pistachios
- Mango and macadamias
- Go savory with fresh basil and pine nuts
You won’t go back to store bought nut butter after making your own. It’s easy to do, tastes so much fresher, you can use any nut or even a blend, and, most importantly, you know exactly what’s going in it. All you need is a food processor or high-speed blender. Each nut behaves differently because of texture and oil content, and different processors will take different times, so it’s really a matter of experimentation.
- 1 cup of tree nuts (choose your favorite)
- Roast 1 cup of nuts. You can use raw nuts, but the flavors and ability to make butter are greatly enhanced after roasting in a 350°F oven for 8-12 minutes. The denser nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and macadamias – take a bit longer than walnuts, pecans and pistachios. Check after 8 minutes; they should be just browning and aromatic. Allow to cool to room temperature. Hazelnuts can be bitter if you keep on the skin, so place the nuts in a dish towel and rub off most of the skin before processing.
- Add nuts to food processor and pulse on and off, first to crumbs, then continue to process until a paste starts to form. Scrape down sides, then continue to process until desired consistency. This may take 10-12 minutes, sometimes up to 20 minutes in less powerful processors. If it’s not looking like a paste is forming, add a few drops of a nut or olive oil to help the process.
- Flavor (or not). You may just like to eat your nut butter pure and natural, or make your own designer butter adding ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, soy, chili, nutmeg, chocolate (think Nutella) truffle oil, or stir in jam or jelly to make a swirl.
Storage – It’s best to store the nut butter in a sealed jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a month.
- Almond butter: Spread on warm bruschetta and top with sautéed mushrooms (wonderful with chanterelles if they’re in season) and sage. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and pepper.
- Walnut butter: Spread crackers with walnut butter, then top with brie cheese and a fruit paste such as quince or fig. Then all you need is wine!
- Hazelnut butter: Add to a toasted tomato and cheese sandwich with some fresh basil leaves or arugula and a drizzle of good olive oil to complete the experience.
- Pecan butter: The sweet, rich and toasty notes of pecan butter need little to make it great. Simply spread on grain toast with honey and a sliced banana for a delicious meal.
- Pistachio butter: Spread on pizza crust before topping with vegetables, mortadella and mozzarella.
- Cashew butter: Perfect for Asian-inspired dishes. Whisk cashew butter with soy sauce and lime juice and toss through noodles just before serving.
- Brazil nut butter: Avocado toast spread with Brazil nut butter adds a unique depth and is especially great with a garnish of cherry tomatoes, mint and ricotta.
- Macadamia Butter: Just like real butter, macadamia butter makes the base to a wonderful healthier shortbread, or spread it on hot scones with jam for a decadent treat.