I am not a tree hugger by nature, although my East Coast family thinks that since I live in California I am. I do love trees though, especially, Walnut trees.
I never thought much of the Walnut, or so I thought. Although my family did not live in a nut-growing region we always had a bowl of Walnuts on our coffee table. You know, orange shag rug, plaid couch, bad haircuts and a bowl of nuts, ahh..the 70's!
Nuts faded away for a few years, I’d forgotten about them like and old friend you don’t talk too much, but still really like. When you see them again it is like you were never apart…it was like that with walnuts.
Lucky for me, my husband and I bought a small house last year and in the front yard are two very old English Walnut trees. They have given our family so much, we make Nocino a green Walnut wine starting in the summer and we bottling it in December. Our daughter loves to help pick the nuts and help decide on the aromatics to put in the wine. We use orange, coffee beans, cinnamon, clove, she gets to smell them and help decide on the amounts to add in.
In the fall the nuts start dropping. We have to get them before the crows do, they toss them in the road and wait until the cars smash them, brilliant! It is always fun to see who can pick up the most nuts with the Nut Wizard, the kids love it!
I love that the weather is getting cool and we can watch our trees change from season to season. I am always looking for walnut recipes so feel free to send me yours!
Here is a recipe you may get your kids to eat if you let them help shell the nuts!
Try it spread on crusty bread. The bright lemon flavor and fresh herbs give this pesto a sunny feeling even in winter. Freeze in small portions and use it to add extra flavor to, rice, top fish or chicken or stir into soups.
2 cups (tight-packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
3/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves (large) garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Place parsley, walnuts, cheese, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until well combined. Combine oil, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl. Add the oil mixture to parsley mixture in a slow stream, pulsing to combine. Serve immediately or freeze.
Freeze the pesto: Divide pesto into preferred serving sizes and place in small containers Pour a bit of olive oil on the top to keep the air away from the pesto. Seal
with airtight lids.
This recipe was adapted from Country Living.