Heartnut Basil Pesto

Local to me, Grimo Nut Nursery is home to the heartnut, a member of the walnut family fashioned in a heart shape. Heartnuts have a smooth, creamy texture with a flavor similar to a cross between walnuts and cashews, and an impressive nutritional profile, too. They have twice the fibre of walnuts, are rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and are recognized for their role in heart health.

Here, smooth, silky pesto is laced with basil, a touch of garlic, and the unique flavor of toasted heart nuts. Serve as desired, such as with your favourite whole grain pasta, in lieu of pizza sauce, or stirred into mashed potatoes.

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Heartnut Basil Pesto

2 1/2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup shelled heart nuts, toasted
1/4 cup water
1 large clove garlic
Pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Put the basil leaves, heart nuts, water, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth, turning off and scraping down the sides as necessary with a rubber spatula. With the food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil, continuing to process until completely smooth. Adjust salt to taste.

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Raw Beet Salad with Ginger and Pistachios

Beets — ever had them raw? They’re a match made in food heaven with bright orange, pungent ginger, and salty roasted pistachios. This is excellent as a salad, but great as a slaw on sandwiches, too.

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Raw Beet Salad with Ginger and Pistachios

5 medium beets, peeled and grated
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled (about the size of your thumb)
1 small shallot, peeled and cut in half
Juice from 1/2 an orange
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half
Sea salt to taste
5 ounces mixed greens or arugula
1/3 cup shelled, dry-roasted pistachios, roughly chopped

To grate the beets, use a box grater or the attachment on your food processor.

Place the ginger, half of the shallot, the orange juice, olive oil, juice from half the lemon and a sprinkle of salt into a heavy duty food processor. Process until smooth. Taste for seasonings, adding additional shallot, lemon juice and salt if necessary. I love using a whole shallot, but for some it may be too strong.

Toss the mixture with the beets. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Before serving, sample the mixture again for taste, adding more lemon or salt if necessary. Either toss the mixture with the greens or place the greens in a serving bowl and top with the beet mixture. Sprinkle with pistachios. Serve immediately.