Garlic And Pine Nut Emulsion

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| Servings: 1 1/2 cups

Smoked salt is the chef-y ingredient du jour, and normally I am skeptical of such things. But in this creamy sauce of milk-soaked pine nuts blended with garlic, the seasoning lends a hit of depth and aroma. Of course, if you’d rather not make a trip to the fancy food store for it, sea salt is fine. – Justin Smillie, chef of Upland


  • ¾ cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 garlic clove, Finely grated
  • ½ teaspoon Finely grated lemon zest (from ½ lemon)
  • Flaky smoked or plain sea salt and freshly cracked white peppercorns

Soak and Simmer the Pine Nuts

  1. Place the pine nuts in a small bowl or lidded container and pour the milk over them, covering the nuts by 1/2 inch.
    Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, or until the nuts are swollen and soft.
  2. Pour the pine nuts and their soaking liquid into a small saucepan and add the garlic. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer over low heat and cook for 3 minutes, or until the flavors meld and the garlic’s bite mellows. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Make the Emulsion

  1. Pour the pine nut mixture into a blender and add the lemon zest. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds, or until the pine nuts are evenly and finely chopped. Increase the speed to high and process the sauce for 60 seconds, or until it is creamy and completely smooth. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

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