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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about vegetarian food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .


Dear Aunt Nettie,

I have a nectarine tree that's loaded with more ripe nectarines than I've ever seen. I love them and eat them every day, but really would like to know what else I can do with them.

Buried in nectarines,

Suzie


Howdy there Suzie,

Well, darlin' yer a mighty lucky woman to be blessed with yer own supply o' ripe nectarines. Most folks got to pay a heap o' dollars fer a pound o' them wunderful fruits.

Now them fancy chefs been cuttin' them nectarines in half and grillin' 'em with brown sugar on 'em. Sometimes I likes bakin' with them recipes like Nectarine Crisps or Brown Betty, but my faverite thing is eatin' 'em fresh. Best put 'em in a salad an' not spoil any o' them good vitamins.

I hopes y'all like this beautiful salad that's almost like a whole meal 'cause they's got a heap o' nuts an' fresh avocado to boot.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie


NUT 'N' NECTARINE SALAD Nut 'N' Nectarine Salad

    1/2 cup (120 ml) raw hazelnuts
    1/4 cup (60 ml) raw pine nuts

    1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
    3 leaves black kale, de-veined and thinly shredded
    2 stalks celery, sliced
    1 carrot, diced
    1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

    2 sweet, ripe nectarines, cut into 8 wedges each
    1/2 ripe avocado, diced

    New Moon Silk Dressing

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (Gas Mark 4) and place the hazelnuts on a large jellyroll pan. Roast them for 10 minutes, then wrap them in a kitchen towel for about 5 minutes to make them sweat. Rub the nuts in the towel vigorously to blanch them. Not all of the skins will come off easily, but the nuts will look appealing with some of the skins still clinging. If it is important to remove the skins completely, put the nuts back in the oven for another 5 minutes and repeat the sweating and rubbing process. Be careful not to over-roast the nuts and burn them. Remove the blanched hazelnuts to a dish to cool.
  2. While the hazelnuts are roasting, place the pine nuts in a non-stick skillet and toast them over high heat, shaking the pan continuously for 1 to 2 minutes or until the pine nuts become tinged with a golden hue. Remove them immediately to a dish to cool.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, kale, celery, carrot, and red bell pepper and toss well.
  4. Top the salad with nectarine wedges and dot with the diced avocado. Sprinkle some of the hazelnuts and pine nuts into the center of the salad and the remainder around the edges. Serve New Moon Silk Dressing on the side. Makes 5 to 6 servings.

New Moon Silk Dressing

    Yield: 3 cups (.75 liters)

    For those who gravitate to thick, creamy salad dressings, this recipe may very likely become a new favorite. It's great on greens and all varieties of tossed salads.

    1 (12-ounce) box soft silken tofu
    1/2 cup (120 ml) organic canola oil
    1/2 cup (120 ml) pistachios

    1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
    1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/4 cup (60 ml) water
    2 teaspoons soy sauce
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  1. Combine the tofu, 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the canola oil, and the pistachios in the blender. Start the machine on low speed and process until the pistachios are well ground and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Add the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil, vinegar, lemon juice, water, soy sauce, salt, garlic, and pepper, and blend until smooth and creamy, beginning on low speed for a few seconds, then switching to high speed. Blend on high speed for 1 full minute. Pour the remaining dressing into a small container for a future salad. Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, New Moon Silk Dressing will keep for one week.


If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .


Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. t was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.



Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns



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