5 Savoury And 5 Sweet Dishes With Nuts
Image Credit: Pinterest

Nuts have been used in human diets for thousands of years, along with their preference due to their nutty taste. Nuts are packed with nutrients. Being rich in fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, nuts are the best for health and are recommended for people who wish to include healthy food in their diets. In the culinary industry, nuts are admired for their incorporation as an ingredient in various meals as their rich taste and texture characterise them.

Regarding culinary use, nuts are perfect for saving the main course or adding orange notes to desserts due to their taste and density. Eaten raw, or added as toppings to different dishes like almond-crusted fish, cashew chicken stir-fry, or as ingredients in sweets such as walnut baklava, and pecan pie, nuts provide an extra layer of satisfaction and are a source of nutrients as well.

It is for this reason that incorporating nuts into your cooking not only serves as a tasteful addition but also has a lot of benefits that come with it in the process of improving a person’s health status. There is indeed one segment of recipes that are found interesting as it explores the use of nuts in meals, a way to prepare meals that are not only delicious but healthy.

Savoury dishes with Nuts

1. Almond-Crusted Fish

Almond-crusted fish is a delightful way to incorporate nuts into a savoury main course. This dish features fish fillets coated in a crunchy almond crust, which adds a nutty flavour and satisfying texture.

Preparation: To prepare this dish, fish fillets are first seasoned with salt and pepper, and then dipped in a beaten egg. They are then coated with a mixture of crushed almonds and breadcrumbs. The fillets are pan-fried until golden brown and crispy. The result is a delicious, crunchy exterior contrasting beautifully with the tender, flaky fish inside. Serve with a side of lemon wedges and a fresh salad for a complete meal.

2. Walnut and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

Walnut and spinach stuffed chicken breast is a gourmet dish that combines the earthy flavour of walnuts with the fresh taste of spinach. This stuffing not only adds flavour but also keeps the chicken moist and juicy.

Preparation: Chicken breasts are butterflied and filled with a mixture of sautéed spinach, chopped walnuts, garlic, and a touch of cream cheese for creaminess. The chicken is then secured with toothpicks and baked until cooked through. The walnuts add a delightful crunch and a hint of bitterness that balances the richness of the chicken and cream cheese. Serve with roasted vegetables or a light pasta salad.

3. Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry

Cashew chicken stir-fry is a popular Asian-inspired dish that pairs tender chicken pieces with crunchy cashews and colourful vegetables. The combination of textures and flavours makes it a favourite for many.

Preparation: Chicken is marinated in soy sauce, ginger, and garlic before being stir-fried with cashews, bell peppers, onions, and snow peas. A sauce made from soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a touch of sugar ties the dish together. The cashews add a buttery crunch that complements the tender chicken and crisp vegetables perfectly. Serve over steamed rice or noodles for a satisfying meal.

4. Pecan and Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops

Pecan and herb-crusted lamb chops offer a sophisticated twist on a classic dish. The pecans add a rich, buttery flavour that enhances the savoury taste of the lamb.

Preparation: Lamb chops are coated with a mixture of finely chopped pecans, breadcrumbs, and fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme. They are then seared in a hot pan and finished in the oven until the crust is golden brown and the lamb is cooked to the desired doneness. The nutty pecan crust pairs beautifully with the juicy, flavourful lamb, creating an elegant and delicious dish. Serve with a side of mint jelly and roasted potatoes.

5. Pistachio-Crusted Tofu

Pistachio-crusted tofu is a delightful vegetarian option that showcases the versatility of nuts. The pistachios provide a crunchy, flavourful coating that transforms simple tofu into a gourmet delight.

Preparation: Tofu is pressed to remove excess moisture, then coated in a mixture of crushed pistachios and breadcrumbs. The tofu is then baked until crispy and golden. The pistachio crust adds a rich, nutty flavour and a satisfying crunch, while the tofu remains tender inside. Serve with a fresh green salad or as part of a grain bowl for a nutritious and tasty meal.

Sweet Dishes with Nuts

1. Walnut Baklava

Walnut baklava is a classic Middle Eastern dessert that layers flaky phyllo pastry with a sweet walnut filling, all drenched in fragrant honey syrup. This dessert is known for its rich, sweet, and nutty flavour.

Preparation: Phyllo dough is layered with a mixture of finely chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar. The layers are then baked until golden and crisp. Once out of the oven, the baklava is drenched in a syrup made from honey, lemon juice, and a touch of rose water or orange blossom water. The walnuts add a delightful crunch and depth of flavour that complements the sweetness of the syrup. Serve in small squares or diamonds with a cup of strong coffee.

2. Almond Biscotti

Almond biscotti are Italian cookies that are twice-baked to achieve their characteristic crispness. These cookies are perfect for dunking in coffee or tea.

The biscotti dough is made with flour, sugar, eggs, and a generous amount of whole or sliced almonds. The dough is shaped into logs and baked until firm. The logs are then sliced into thin cookies and baked again until golden and crispy. The almonds add a wonderful nutty flavour and a satisfying crunch to each bite. These cookies are perfect for gifting or enjoying as a snack.

3. Cashew Caramel Brownies

Cashew caramel brownies combine the richness of chocolate with the creamy, nutty flavour of cashews and the sweetness of caramel. This decadent dessert is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Preparation: A rich brownie batter is prepared with high-quality cocoa powder and chocolate. Chopped cashews are folded into the batter before it is poured into a baking pan. A layer of homemade caramel is swirled into the brownie batter, creating pockets of gooey caramel in every bite. The brownies are baked until set but still fudgy. The cashews add a creamy, nutty contrast to the rich chocolate and sweet caramel. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an indulgent treat.

4. Pistachio and Rose Water Cake

Pistachio and rose water cake is a fragrant and elegant dessert that combines the delicate flavours of pistachios and rose water. This cake is perfect for special occasions or as a luxurious afternoon treat.

Preparation: The cake batter is made with ground pistachios, flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and a splash of rose water. The ground pistachios give the cake a beautiful green hue and a rich, nutty flavour, while the rose water adds a subtle floral note. The cake is baked until golden and topped with a simple glaze made from powdered sugar and rose water. Garnish with crushed pistachios and dried rose petals for a stunning presentation.

5. Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a beloved American dessert with a rich, buttery filling packed with crunchy pecans. This pie is a staple at holiday gatherings and special occasions.

Preparation: The pie crust is filled with a mixture of eggs, butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla, with a generous amount of whole pecans stirred in. The pie is baked until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown. The pecans on top become caramelised and crunchy, while the filling remains gooey and sweet. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Whether you're a seasoned chef or a home cook, these recipes offer inspiration for creating delicious dishes that celebrate the culinary potential of nuts.