Wonderful Walnut recipes
The walnut is the nut of a deciduous tree. It has a hard, wrinkled shell and an oily, two-lobed kernel. Nuts in general are extremely healthy for you, and walnuts in particular are packed with several valuable nutrients. Just one quarter cup of walnuts will give you over 90% of the recommended daily amount of Omega 3 fatty acids, so there’s no need to resort to fish for these important fats. Omega 3 fatty acids give us all kinds of health benefits from better cognitive function to relief from inflammatory diseases such as asthma and eczema. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.
Choose fresh shelled walnuts which don’t look rubbery or shriveled. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Walnuts are great raw or toasted. They can be served chopped in salads or on fruit or yogurt as a topping. They’re delicious in baked goods such as muffins, zucchini bread or pancakes.
Mushroom Walnut Roast
Walnut and Pomegranate Spread (Mukamarra)
These delicious recipes are from our own Veg-Feasting Cookbook.
Mushroom Walnut Roast
Walnuts, tofu and oats make for a familiar yet distinctive taste that resembles a traditional meatloaf. Like meatloaf, this tastes great hot or cold. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable and top with a sauce, like Nutritional Yeast Gravy or Roasted Vegetable Sauce.
Serves 6 to 8
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
½ cup rolled oats (regular or quick)
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable broth or water
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons nonalcoholic red wine or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 package (14 -16 ounces) firm tofu, pressed of excess water, crumbled
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 -1½ cups dried whole-wheat or white breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Set aside in large bowl.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the walnuts, oats and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender. Add a splash of broth or water if the ingredients stick too much. Stir in a small amount of broth, turn up the heat, and deglaze the pan (scraping the pan bottom to loosen the stuck-on bits of food). Add the remaining broth and cook for 10 minutes. Add the mustard, tomato paste, red wine, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
Continue to cook until the mixture is thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Add to the bowl with the onions and set aside. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the tofu and arrowroot in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add to the onion mixture and stir in enough breadcrumbs to make a thick paste. Mix well. Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Press down firmly to pack the mixture into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes. For optimal results, let the loaf cool for 2 hours before slicing it, or make it a day ahead and reheat.
For a perfect crispy top, place an additional pan of water in the oven while you bake the loaf.
Walnut and Pomegranate Spread (Muhamarra)
This beautiful brick-colored spread from Syria is rich in vitamin C from the peppers, omega-3s and protein from the walnuts, and antioxidants from the pomegranate. It’s a gorgeous appetizer garnished with kalamata olives and parsley or as a topping for crostini. Or try it with potatoes or pasta.
Makes 2 cups
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
½ teaspoon salt
3 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled, or 2 cups jarred roasted peppers
¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, or more to taste (see below)
Put the walnuts, bread crumbs, paprika, Aleppo pepper and salt in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms. Add the peppers and continue processing until smooth, then drizzle in the oil and pomegranate. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and adjust the seasonings to taste.
Pomegranate molasses is a tart, thick concentrate of pomegranate juice. It has a wonderful flavor and its thickness and dark color make food look very appealing. It blends well with walnuts, adds a tart, pungent flavor to beans and gives a sharp edge to salads and vegetables. It can also be diluted and used for sharp drinks and tart sorbets. It is available in Middle Eastern markets.