As a child, I never liked nuts. To me it always tasted bitter. Maybe the nuts that we got in the small town where I lived were off, once they reached us or maybe I was just full of nonsense. I only discovered how tasty nuts are after I was married. Hubs grew up on a farm between Sabie and Hazyview. His uncle on one of the neighbouring farms was farming with Macadamia nuts and so my love for this nut started.
This crispy, creamy nut is often described as the world’s finest nut. It is also a very healthy food since it has 0% cholesterol and does not contain any trans fatty acids. The Macadamia nut contains the highest level of mono-unsaturated fatty acids of any natural food. These fatty acids actively reduce cholesterol and keep triglycerides low. They play a vital part in reducing your risk of stroke and heart disease. (For more information on the health benefits of this wonder food go to http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-macadamia-nuts.html)
Dill is also a healthy food because it is green in colour, and it can activate processes in the body which seek out and eliminate free radicals. This free radical elimination is effective in preventing heart disease, cancer, and many other ailments.
Fish is an excellent source of protein and all types of fish have a superior fatty acid composition when compared with other meat. These fatty acids, as described above, reduce cholesterol. Fish, especially hake, is relatively inexpensive. If you add the health benefits to the affordability, one should really try and eat fish at least twice per week.
Taking all of this into consideration, I have decided to make hake served with a dill and macadamia pesto for my entry for the Sea Harvest competition, hosted by Food24.
- 500g Sea Harvest Hake fillets
- 10ml butter
- salt and black pepper
- 90g macadamia nuts, roasted
- bunch of dill (about 5g)
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 60ml olive oil
- ½ lemon, zest and juice
- 500g tagliatelle, cooked according to packet instructions (reserve 90 ml of the cooking liquid)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180⁰C.
- Season the frozen hake fillets with salt and pepper and dot with butter. Loosely wrap with tin foil and place on a baking tray. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fillets are cooked. Break the fillets into large pieces.
- Place the macadamia nuts, dill, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and zest into a food processor. Add the reserved cooking liquid of the pasta and process until it is creamy.
- Stir the pesto through the cooked pasta and add the fillet pieces. Stir through, ensuring not to break up the hake pieces more.