Nuts give a fresh twist to classic spring recipes

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 thicken sauces.

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.

Start with:

Arugula and Curried Pecan Salad

Yield: 4 servings | Prep: 10 min

  1. 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 set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Assemble the salad: Toss the arugula in the dressing. Stir in the pecans, orange segments and Gouda cheese. Serve immediately.

Serve with:

Almond and Asparagus Crusted Grouper

Yield: 4 servings | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 15 min

  1. 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 aside.
  2. 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 fork.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Finish with:

Spring Toasted Almond Fruit Salad

Yield: 8 servings | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 12 min

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Follow Us

God's Rainbow - Noahic Covenant