Until a few days ago, hazelnuts were rather foreign to me. It’s a nut that for one reason or another, I have never experimented with in the kitchen. That all changed when I was preparing a rather bland salad at work and was kindly offered some of the protein packed nuts to help liven up my greens. I was amazed at how much they enhanced my boring lunch in flavor and texture and how satisfied I felt from a light meal. So on my way home that night, I picked some up and started tossing around ideas of how I might incorporate them into my dinner.
I came up with what is pictured above and what is also now one of my favorite dishes. I’ve made pasta with brussels sprouts before, but something about the texture and flavor of these slightly sweet nuts brought this meal to a whole new level. They’re packed with healthy vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and fats too. After a little research, I also learned that they contain flavonoids which may support brain health, improve circulation and reduce symptoms associated with allergies. Be it for a snack, salad or big meal, grab some hazelnuts, enjoy and experiment. Here’s how to make the pasta…
1 cup quinoa pasta
Water for boiling pasta
1 cup semi-crushed toasted hazelnuts
1 cup shredded brussels sprouts
2 tbs butter or vegan butter
Little less than 1/8 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan / grana padana if desired
While the pasta is boiling, add brussels sprouts to butter in a medium pan and sauté for a few minutes over medium-high heat. Add the white wine and sauté over medium heat for another minute or two. Add hazelnuts and continue to mix in pan over low-medium heat. Strain pasta and pour ingredients in pan over the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with some grated grana padana.