Toasted Walnuts and Vinaigrette Top Salad of Chard and Arugula

Salad with toasted nuts

Adding nuts to salad adds flavor and crunch. (Photo: JESSICA J. TREVINO, Detroit Free Press)

National Pistachio Day, which was observed Tuesday, reminded me that nuts of all varieties are healthful and plenty handy when you're cooking.

Because nuts contain unsaturated fats, they're considered a good fat that can help lower cholesterol. They also have omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health, and they're a source of protein, fiber and vitamin E.

There's just one thing to worry about: Nuts are high in calories. They make great snacks, but most nutritionists recommended eating only about 1½ ounces per day. That's a small handful.

When I use nuts for cooking or baking, I usually toast them first. Toasting nuts intensifies their flavor, and that sometimes means you can use less of them. Toasting nuts like hazelnuts is also a way to remove their bitter skins. Just remember to watch nuts carefully when you're toasting them. They can burn easily.

3 ways to toast nuts

Toaster oven: This is a good method if want to toast small amounts of nuts. If your toaster oven has a degree setting, set it to 350 degrees. Place the nuts on a sheet of foil and toast for 5-7 minutes, depending on the nut variety. If the nuts are small (think pine nuts or sliced almonds) or already chopped in smaller pieces, toasting will take less time.

Oven: Spread nuts in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Don't use a baking sheet without sides because the nuts can roll off. Place in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes. (There's no need to preheat the oven.) Roast shelled whole nuts, and once they become fragrant, start checking on them. Give the pan a shake so they spread out and roast evenly. Most nuts should turn a few shades darker than their original color. Sliced or slivered almonds, pine nuts and pistachios should be honey-colored.

Skillet: Use a dry skillet over medium heat. Don't put in any oils. The nuts will release some of their oils. When you use the skillet, you need to shake it as it cooks. Toasting in a skillet takes less time than in the oven, but the nuts can burn quickly. Once they are toasted, remove immediately from the skillet to prevent additional toasting.

Once the nuts are toasted, they will keep several months in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For longer storage, place in a freezer-safe bag and freeze up to one year. You can also store untoasted nuts this way.

Adding nuts to salad adds flavor and crunch. This recipe from our archives is a favorite. You can use most any variety of nuts. My preference for this particular salad is pistachios, walnuts or pine nuts. All are a good match for the dark leafy Swiss chard and the peppery arugula.

To turn this into a main dish, add grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp.

Swiss Chard and Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Toasted Walnuts

Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 10 minutes

VINAIGRETTE

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

SALAD

  • 1 bunch (about ½ pound) arugula or spicy greens mix, thoroughly washed, torn into pieces if leaves are large
  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) chard, thoroughly washed, stems trimmed, and leaves cut into ½-inch-wide strips
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup chopped toasted walnuts

In a small bowl, whisk together to emulsify the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, Dijon, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the arugula, chard and onion with ¼ cup of the vinaigrette. Divide the mixture among six plates. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Adapted from Country Living Magazine, December 2012 issue. Tested by Susan Selasky for the the Free Press Test Kitchen.

176 calories (67% from fat), 14 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat), 13 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 521 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.


Story Credit: https://www.freep.com/story/life/food/2019/03/03/add-toasted-walnuts-salad-made-chard-and-arugula/3019345002/


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