Walnuts

Of all the nuts walnuts are one of my favourites. The fruit and veg stalls in the local indoor markets in Portugal sold several varieties; one particular stall holder used to squeeze them open with her thumb to give us samples, they had a delicious creamy flavour.

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Walnuts are packed full of protein and essential fatty acids, delicious on their own, or with cheese, salads, pickled, museli, cake, ice cream but they can be costly at least £1 for 100g of nut.  I knew where there was a walnut tree in Kent and managed to occasionally to get a few when cycling past. Amazingly there is a mature walnut tree here in our garden in Spain.

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The walnuts slowly develop in their shells inside a leathery case. The case will split during autumn revealing the shell, which can be cracked open and the nuts eaten straight from the tree but it’s best to wait as the nuts may be a bit rubbery. Walnut trees can be huge so It’s fine to wait for the nuts to fall from the tree to collect them. For a crunchier nut they can be dried in their shells. Peel off the case and brush off any pieces of the case. Woah there! don’t start yet, put some gloves on, peeling the case with your bare hands will mean the tannins stain your hands…for days!!

The walnuts in shells can be left out in the sunshine for a week or dried in the oven at 40 degrees if your oven goes that low or in your boiler/ airing  cupboard. When dry, store them somewhere cool and dry. Drying the shells allows you to keep them for longer.

When they are ready why not adapt our almond pesto recipe to a walnut pesto and serve with gnocchi.

Gnocci with Walnut Pesto

To make Walnut pesto;

3 cups of fresh basil leaves

½ cup walnuts

½ cup grated parmesan/ hard cheese

1 garlic clove (2 if you love garlic)

Squeeze of lemon

Sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper

Approx ½ cup of olive oil (to your desired consistency)

Keep the olive oil to one side, place all the ingredients into a food processor, pulse the ingredients whilst slowly adding olive oil until the pesto is oozing. Taste and add more salt, pepper or lemon if required. Spoon onto the hot gnocchi.

Walnuts are also great in these: fig and nut energy bars recipe

Pin for Later:

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Walnut pesto sounds amazing! Interesting info about how they grow and are harvested too. #foodiefriday

    1. Thanks, walnuts in a pesto works well. It’s a treat to harvest them.

  2. Ooooo walnut pesto does sound lovely. Walnuts remind me of my Grandma – we used to have them lots at her house and ‘crack’ them with her special nutcracker which seemed so exciting at the time! #KCACOLS

  3. Thanks for the comment. Walnuts remind me of my grandma too. She had a tree and we used to throw sticks up at the walnuts when we were kids. Good memories.

  4. Alex Muir says:

    I bet that pesto is amazing – who says pine nuts have to be used all the time. I’d bet they’d go nice with a bit of portuguese goats cheese too! I can’t believe those tannins – I guess you learnt the hard way!? #kcacols

    1. Thanks, walnuts and goats cheese combo! Live and learn, grab the opportunity literally .😉

  5. The pesto looked yummy! I’m reaching for the jar of walnuts right now! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment . Enjoy! I have a batch outside drying and a batch waiting to be hulled .

  6. Yum, this sounds awesome! I love walnuts. 🙂 #KCACOLS

    1. Thanks, yum, the walnuts from the tree are great, they range from light brown to almost black but all taste great.

  7. So interesting. I love walnuts x #KCACOLS

    1. Thanks for your comment, glad you found our post informative!

  8. Emma says:

    interesting read and the pesto sounds yummy! ive always had a love hate relationship with walnuts -sometimes I find them a bit bitter. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday!

    1. Thanks, when they are bad, i.e too dry, not dry enough, furry, bitter they are really bad, but when they are good…… 🙂

  9. Oooo I love walnuts – we always get them out at christmas with the nut cracker!
    Thanks for linking to #foodiefriday

    1. Thanks for commenting, they are a must at Christmas time.

  10. sparklymummy says:

    Mmmmmmmmmm brains !!! Walnuts are a Christmas staple in this house love the idea of a pesto #FoodieFriday

  11. Thanks, walnuts are apparently beneficial for brain health, great! Lets eat lots. Maybe that’s why they come out at Christmas time ready for those family quizzes! 😉

  12. Mainy - myrealfairy says:

    Walnut pesto sounds great and perfect with the christmas roast, yum:)

    Mainy

    #KCACOLS

    1. Thanks for your comment. Great idea to pair the pesto with a roast!

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