07 October 2012

Nuts about Spring Food

Spring Pie
Have you ever had the "What is your favourite nut" discussion?  In my experience everyone has a definite favourite.
Mine are almonds, while M's are hazelnuts followed close behind by cashews.  Over the last few weeks we've bought almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts from various farmers markets, and have had them all sitting on the kitchen bench ready to include in whatever is being cooked, or just asa quick snack.  

Some of the dishes we've made recently with nuts have included Rhubarb and Apple Crumble with slivered almonds; a simple pasta with walnuts, fresh peas, smoked chicken, goats chevre, chives, garlic and olive oil; pizza with caramelised onion, Gippsland Blue cheese, walnuts and broccoli; chocolate brownies with walnuts and hazelnuts; and a Spring Pie.  Here is the recipe for it:

Spring Pie
1 portion of Short Crust Pastry (I use the recipe from the fabulous Sustainable Table cookbook)
Caramelised leek
Swiss Brown mushrooms
Purple Sprouting Broccoli shoots
Holy Goat Fromage Frais
Freshly shelled walnuts
Fresh herbs (I used lemon thyme)
Any other fresh, seasonal produce you have

Prepare the pastry and roll out into pastry dish.  Blind bake it if you want (I usually get a bit lazy with this, but here is a great link from Linda at Greenhaven to describe how to do it properly)
Chop all the ingredients into similar sizes
Mix everything except leeks together in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and some finely chopped garlic
Spread caramelised leeks out on the bottom, then fill the pie with all the other ingredients, packing it reasonbly tightly
Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and some extra herbs
Bake at 180 degrees for approx 30 minutes

And here's dessert:
(slightly lumpy but very tasty) Chocolate Brownies


  1. My favourite nuts are almonds too. They not only taste great but they are so flexible in cooking. A close second has to be pistachios. My lad lover peanuts best of all. I think that's odd.

    Like your spring pie!

    1. I've never really cooked with pistachios, but you're right, they are great too, although I have to agree with your lad, I'd put peanuts further up the list!

  2. Yum that looks really tasty. And the Swiss browns are really good at the moment

    I love walnuts in cooking. But I am not sure there can be a favourite as I feel it might be disloyal to all the other nuts in the cupboard.

    1. Yes the Swiss Browns in that pie were delicious! Not quite as good as my favourites Pine Mushrooms, but I guess that would make it an Autumn Pie!