A couple weeks ago I wrote about using dandelion greens with basil for making pesto and today I have another variation on that. I've got gobs of kale coming up in the garden so I wanted to try mixing those in with the basil and dandelion but realized that I had no pine nuts. But I did have about 1/3 cup of hickory nuts that I de-shelled a couple weeks ago so I tried that and it tastes fine to me. So, no more need to buy pine nuts for pesto!
Can I just say how cool it is that I have a Shagbark Hickory tree growing ten feet from my cabin? I get plenty cool summer shade and buckets of hickory nuts in the fall. For those that may not know, hickory nuts look and taste very similar to walnuts. My only complaint is the amount of work to get the nut meat out of the shell. Yeah. That takes a good bit of time. Which reminds me that it seems a few permaculture folk have a notion that nuts can be a more important, more substantial part of the human diet, possibly even replacing cereal grains. While I certainly like the idea I'm not sure it is practical given the work involved in getting the nut from the shell. Perhaps there is a technique or some inexpensive equipment but from a quick search on the Google I don't think so. In fact, I'd like to plant a few more nuts in our food forest and need to investigate the nutritional content and ease of processing of those that will grow well here.