Nuts give a fresh twist to classic spring recipes
(BPT) - With spring in full bloom, do you find yourself looking for ways to creatively
add flavor to lighter, fresher fare? The season’s fresh produce makes a fine
foundation for a variety of classic dishes, but what can you do to add a fresh twist
to your recipes?
While recipe nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans go famously with winter holiday
fare, they can be just as great in spring dishes, adding texture and flavor. Nuts
can also replace flour or bread crumbs as a coating for meat and fish, or even to
Food Network celebrity Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is partnering with
Fisher nuts, the only national
brand of recipe nuts entirely without preservatives, to offer new recipes sure to
be the highlight of any springtime gathering.
Arugula and Curried Pecan Salad
Yield: 4 servings | Prep: 10 min
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup Fisher Chef’s Naturals Pecan Halves
- 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (5 ounce) package Arugula
- 1 orange, peeled and broken into sections
- 2 ounces aged Gouda cheese, thinly shaved
- Pan fry the pecans: In a small bowl, combine the curry powder and sugar. Heat
vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add
the pecans. Gently fry them in the oil until they turn golden brown, two to three
minutes. Drain the oil and add the nuts to the curry mixture. Toss to blend; and
- Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, honey
and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil, canola oil and salt to taste. Set aside.
- Assemble the salad: Toss the arugula in the dressing. Stir in the pecans, orange
segments and Gouda cheese. Serve immediately.
Almond and Asparagus Crusted Grouper
Yield: 4 servings | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 15 min
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened, divided
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped Fisher Chef’s Natural Sliced Almonds, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds Grouper or Orange Roughy, skin removed, cut into four 6-ounce portions
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Combine 2 tablespoons of butter with 1/2 cup thinly sliced asparagus pieces,
1/3 cup almonds, parsley and soy sauce. Stir until mixture forms a paste and set
- Heat the broiler. Place the fish portions onto a baking sheet sprayed with
non-stick cooking spray. Broil for two to three minutes. Turn fish over, broil for
one minute. Remove from oven and spread with asparagus mixture. Broil for one to
two minutes or until crust has melted and browned and fish flakes easily with a
- Boil enough water to cover remaining asparagus in a large skillet over high heat.
Add salt and remaining asparagus. Cook for two to three minutes or until asparagus
is tender. Drain and toss with remaining 1 teaspoon of butter.
- Arrange the asparagus spears on a platter or individual plates, top with the
fish and sprinkle with lemon juice and remaining 5 teaspoons of almonds. Serve immediately.
Spring Toasted Almond Fruit Salad
Yield: 8 servings | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 12 min
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 cup (4 ounces) Fisher Chef’s Naturals Sliced Almonds
- 1 teaspoon dry ginger
- Pinch of salt
- 2 pints blackberries
- 2 pints raspberries
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored, quartered and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 pint raspberry sorbet
- 1/4 cup small basil leaves
- Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup of the sugar
to a simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves, two to three minutes. Remove from
the heat and transfer to a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest. Refrigerate.
- Caramelize the nuts: Rinse out the pan used to make the syrup and dry well. Add
the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and enough water for it to look like wet sand. Cook
over medium heat until the sugar caramelizes and browns, approximately five to eight
minutes. Add the almonds and carefully stir to coat the nuts with the caramelized
sugar. Season with the dry ginger and a pinch of salt. Transfer to a baking sheet
to cool and harden. When hard, break into bite-size pieces.
- Assemble the salad: Toss the blackberries, raspberries and apple slices with
the lemon syrup in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The colder the
fruit, the better. When ready to serve, top with the almond brittle, a 1/4 cup scoop
of raspberry sorbet and the basil leaves. Serve immediately.
For more great recipes and tips from Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, visit
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