Foraged Pine Nuts
Savor The Mountains
The best time to forage for pinecones is in the fall. The actual pine nuts are located within the scales of the cone. Birds and squirrels eat these nuts as soon as the scales dry and open; to get there ahead of the animals, you’ll have to collect closed pinecones and store them in a warm place until they open. Then you can pick the nuts from between the scales. Each nut is surrounded by a shell, which is soft and thin and can be cracked between your fingers or with the light tap of a small hammer. It’s a labor-intensive process, which explains the retail price of pine nuts in your gourmet market.
Pine nuts can be used as an accent in many dishes, from salads to pasta, in chocolate bars and, as in this recipe, in cookies. To get the full flavor of these cookies, use foraged or high-grade pine nuts and homemade almond paste.
Learn more about Ilona’s family foraging adventures at IlonaOppenheim.com.