Last weekend we went to our new house to pick the walnuts. These were really simple to harvest - some had already fallen to the ground and others were splitting out of the green husks so we knew they were ready. Himself went up the ladder to pick those that we couldn't reach. A gentle shake and the ones from the top of the tree fell down. It was then that I realised that I should have worn a hard hat as I was the one on the ground. We spread them out in a single layer in front of the combustion heater to gently dry them.
The next day Himself came home from work in a state of excitement as he had discovered an avenue of walnut trees growing near the side of the road in the hills. We went for a drive yesterday morning and picked another couple of baskets of fresh walnuts. On the way home we found a beautiful wild apple tree so we stopped to pick a basket of fresh red apples.
Fresh walnuts are fantastic to simply crack and eat raw but I also wanted to do some cooking with them.
Fig and Walnut roll
Use the Fig Jam from previous post (March 2011). Gently heat jam and add chopped walnuts. Keep stirring so it doesn't burn. When the mixture has caramelised put on some baking paper and form into a cylindrical roll. Refrigerate until firm and serve in rounds on a cheese plate.
Cheese and Walnut log
Blend 150 g white castello cheese and 125 g cream cheese with 2 tablespoons brandy and salt and pepper in a food processor until you have a nice smooth consistency. Combine 2/3 cup chopped fresh herbs, 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes and 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts. Sprinkle of a piece of plastic wrap. Form the cheese mixture into a long cylindrical roll on the edge of the plastic wrap and roll into the herb and nut mixture so it is evenly coated. Refrigerate the roll until firm.
Walnut Bircher Muesli
Mix 1 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup pepitas, 1 cup dried fruits, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add 1/2 cup apple juice and 1/2 cup natural yoghurt, mix and refrigerate overnight. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.
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