Magazines and advertisements offer advice on how to make our lives more zesty. We would be better off if we focused on making life more pesto-y. Creamy, nutty, earthy, and green — not quite good for you but not bad either — pesto enhances life in a way that is more substantive than mere spice. The problem is the exorbitant price stores charge for pine nuts. Little bags of just a few ounces routinely go for more money than their equivalent weight in crack cocaine. So at $14.99 a pound, the Micucci pine nut is a bargain. A smart approach to stretch your pine nut dollar is to forgo an actual pesto and approximate the effect by sprinkling some pine nuts over just about anything you heat up in a pan. A handful at a time, a half-pound could get you through a month this way.
Easily browned and slow to burn, the little teardrops develop just a touch of crunch but still give in to your teeth with a lovely tenderness. Perched on a fork with half a Brussels sprout sautéed in butter and olive oil, the pine nut promises to smooth away any bitterness — a service to life far more useful than the superficial distractions of zest.
Micucci Grocery | 45 India St, Portland | 207.775.1854 | micucci.com