I’m all for splurging on a primo ingredient to make a recipe really sing — especially for a special occasion – but even I have to draw the line at $8 pinenuts.
We invited my wife’s mom over for a special Mother’s Day brunch this past Sunday for a Potato, Spinach and Leek Fritatta with a few grilled sausages served on the side. I wanted to make a nice salad to accompany the meal, so I ran to Kroger for some fresh greens, goat cheese and dried cranberries that I planned to toss with a homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette. I thought a few toasted pinenuts would add a nice nutty crunch, so I reached for a bag and …
Spent the next few seconds trying to catch my breath!
Pinenuts have always been on the pricey side, but $7.99 for less than a handful was too much for me to handle. So I grabbed some chopped macadamia nuts instead (hey, only a buck!) which made for a really nice — and wallet-friendly — substitute.
We enjoyed them so much, in fact, that our beloved pinenuts may take a backseat until they come down a little in price.
The salad rocked, by the way, and here’s what I whisked together to dress it …
HONEY BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
The proportions depend on how much you need and how sweet, salty or tart you want it. I started with about 1/4 cup olive oil, then added a tablespoon (maybe two) of vinegar, a squirt of honey, a small dollop of mustard and a few turns of the pepper mill.