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Merken-Seasoned Sauteed Pine Nuts Recipe
Merken-Seasoned Sauteed Pine Nuts Recipe

A traditional recipe for merkén-seasoned pine nuts, a wonderful and versatile fruit, highly nutritious and easy to prepare on any occasion, a 100% traditional dish.

How to make Merkén-Seasoned Pine Nuts?

Pine nuts are the fruit of the Araucaria or pehuén tree (Araucaria araucana), which can take between 20 to 25 years to produce their first fruits, typically available in the markets of major cities.

Nutritional Information

Category: Appetizers
Cuisine: Chilean, Mapuche
Calories: 250
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 130 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Merken-Seasoned Sauteed Pine Nuts recipe


  • 1 kg of pine nuts
  • 30 ml of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of merkén
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


  1. Wash the pine nuts thoroughly without peeling. Place in a large pot and cover with plenty of boiling water. Cook on medium heat for about 2 hours (30 to 40 minutes in a pressure cooker) or until they begin to open their shells, checking for a soft yet firm consistency.
  2. Drain and peel the pine nuts while still warm, removing the shell by pressing from the base. Reserve whole or split them in half horizontally.
  3. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Sauté the crushed garlic, oregano, and salt, stirring for a couple of minutes with a wooden spoon. Add the pine nuts and mix well, sprinkle with merkén, stir and keep on low heat for another two minutes.
  4. Serve the merkén-seasoned pine nuts immediately as an appetizer or side dish to a salad or main course.

Benefits of consuming pine nuts

Pine nuts from the Araucaria tree are a rich source of essential nutrients, in addition to vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, manganese, and iron.

Consuming them helps control appetite, provide sustained energy, and promote cardiovascular health due to their balanced nutritional profile.

Did you know?

In English, the Araucaria tree is colloquially known as the “monkey puzzle tree” due to the intricate shapes of its branches.

The oldest Araucaria

The oldest Araucaria tree in Chile is located in Conguillío National Park and is about 1,800 years old.


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