Tag Archives: walnuts

Color me Happy

It’s really the small things that matter…today, when at the local liquor store to procure some red vermouth, I came across a bottle of liqueur that I had been meaning to special order, as no one in the Puget Sound area had seemed to have it.

There, on the counter, sat an unclaimed special order; Nocello, also known as Walnut Liqueur.

It’s the little things that make me happy.

Spaghetti con Salsa di Noci

Spaghetti con Salsa di Noci
One of the many reasons why I like Italian cuisine is its simplicity. Italian dishes seem to do the most with the least. This recipe has six ingredient, not including the pasta, which menas it shoudl be pretty damn tasty.

It’s quick to make as well. If anyone tells me that they don’t have time to cook, I’ll show them this recipe. From start to plate? 30 minutes.

“I don’t have time to cook!” What a lame excuse.

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/2 cup stemless basil,fresh
  • 1/4 cup stemless sage, fresh
  • 1/4 lb pecorino cheese (grated)
  • olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Make the pasta by following the directions on the package. I know, it’s lame for me to write that, but really…c’mon. It’s pasta. Boil water and then put the pasta in the water. Cook 12-15 minutes. Al dente and all that.

So, while the pasta is cooking, get out your favorite food processor, and process the walnuts into teeny tiny bits. Add the basil and sage, followed by the pecorino cheese. Drizzle the oil in watching for a consistency a little less than that of pesto. But hey, if you want pesto consistency,go right ahead. Olive oil never hurt anyone…unless it fell from a high shelf onto someones head.

When pasta is done and warming in its serving bowl, add the walut sauce, and toss well. Plate pasta and serve. Enjoy its tasty goodness.

Serves 6-8

Walnut Pie

Walnut Pie

Lord have mercy this was good… and balances the spinach walnut recipe quite nicely. You see, I felt less than thrilled about doing a salad recipe*, so I felt I should go to the opposite extreme. Through this recipe, I have tested a hypothesis that I have had, and have been able to come to a provable, scientific conclusion. Let’s call this Kate’s Law of Walnut Pie Goodness:

Dark Corn Syrup is your friend.

Yes, this recipe is better known as a pecan pie with walnuts instead of pecans. It doesn’t matter. Eating a warm slice of this pie is a pleasure nearly equivalent to winning the lottery.

* Note: I am not against eating salads. I simply find making salads dull and tedious…even if Tara tries to dress it up as foreplay .

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dark Karo syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbl butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbl flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 unbaked walnut pie shell

Pre-heat your over to 375 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk 2 eggs until well scrambled. Add the corn syrup and mix thoroughly. Add the vanilla and melted butter and mix well into the syrupy mixture.

In a separate bowl combine sugar, flour and salt. Incorporate into corn syrup. Add the chopped walnuts and mix well. Pour the walnut batter in the pie shell.

Place pie shell into oven and bake 40-50 minutes. Remove and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hours. Slice and serve.

Serves 6

Walnut Pie Pastry

If you’re in the mood for a pie crust, but want it to have a little “extra” (Okay, I don’t know what that means, I’m just trying to be clever…trying and failing), then this is the pie crust for you.

This pie crust is good for any pie that compliments walnuts…Think apple, think rasberry, think, well, walnut!

  • 1 cup Sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Chopped black walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chilled butter, diced
  • 2-3 tbl Ice water (up to 3)

Place sifted flour into food processor. Add salt and walnuts. Process until walnuts are somewhat ground. Pulse in butter, piece by piece, until dough has the consistency of coarse corn meal. Pulse in Ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough collects upon itself.

Shape the dough into a ball, and roll out until it’s 1/8th inch thick. Place in a 9″ pie plate . Refrigerate until it is ready to be used.

Makes 1 9″ pie crust. Double ingedients if you need dough for lattice work or pie top.

Spinach Walnut Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing

It hes been brought to my attention that there is a lack of vegetables in my recipe choices. This was not intentional…okay, maybe it is.

Salads are boring. They’re fine to eat, but I don’t feel creative when I make one. A fair amount of salads follow a basic pattern. Greens, acoutrements, and a dressing of some sort. This one follows that same basic setup. It tastes good, mind you. I just don’t feel like I’m cooking.

I hope this satisfies the ONE person who said I should do a walnut sald recipe. Sheeesh.. the lengths I’ll go to in order to make folks happy…

  • 1/2 lb baby Spinach
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3 tbl Walnut oil
  • 2 tbl Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Clover Honey
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Wash the spinach and give it a whirl in a salad spinner. Put in a bowl and combine with the walnuts. If you’re feeling dangerous, you can add some salt here. You probably won’t hurt anyone.

In a mixing bowl, combine the walnut oil, lemon juice, honey and slat a pepper. Whisk briskly until oil is completely emulsified.

Place spinach and walnuts on a plate. Drizzle a bit of the dressing on top. Voila!

Double the amounts of oil, juice and honey if you wish to make a bit more dressing.

serves 4-6

Young Walnut Preserves

Lookie at what I got in the mail today! Yes, it is indeed the pride and joy of all Armenians everywhere, Young Walnut Preserves. You would be surprised at how little information there is on the internet about this product. However, that did not prevent me from conducting a little taste test.

The Verdict? The walnuts themselves have the texture of black olives, which is a little off-putting. Once you get beyond that, they aren’t horrible. There’s very little of what we would consider “walnut taste” in the walnut itself. But the sugar syrup (which is really what it is…and not what those of us familiar with the Western European Tradition consider to be “preserves”) does contain a very light molassesy-walnut taste.

Now that I tihnk of it, what we have here is not so much “Young Walnut Preserves” as rather “Black Olives sitting in a molassesy-walnut sugar syrup”. I know I’m being a bit unfair. It’s really not bad. But it wouldn’t be on my shopping list.

I’m willing,however, to try a different brand, just in case I purchased the absolute worst brand I could get of “Young Walnut Preserves”.


This is a Russian recipe (my first by the way), actually a Georgian recipe made with beef and walnuts. This is a great recipe for those cold winter days when you want the taste of several herbs and spices. Do you like Paprika? Yeah, it’s in there. Red Pepper Flaskes? Oh yeah.

Can I get a Hallelujah?

Typically, one would boil the beef. But I browned it first, and then let it cook in the beef stock.

  • 8 cup beef stock
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless lean beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tbl butter
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbl flour
  • 3 tbl tomato paste
  • 1 can tomatoes – (16 oz) seeded, chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 4 tbspns lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed or minced
  • 1/4 walnut pieces crushed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs – (any mixture of tarragon, cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, or dill)

In large stock pot, bring beef broth to a simmer.

Heat a skillet and brown the beef, ensuring a bit of a brown crust on the outside of the meat. Place in the stock pot and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that may appear atop of the stock during the boiling process. Drop the broth back down to a simmer(185 degrees F), cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

When the broth has been simmering for about an hour, bring out another stock pot (or Dutch Oven if you have one available), place over medium heat and melt the butter in it. Add the onions and cook until just translucent, about 10-13 minutes. Add the flour and stir in. Take 1/2 cup of the beef stock and add to the onions. Stir until flour and onions are well combined.

Stir in the tomato paste and the tomatoes. Whisk in the rest of the stock, add the rice, and simmer(185 degrees F), covered, for about 10 minutes. Do NOT add the meat to the stock as of yet. Set aside…in a warm oven (150 degrees F) if you do not wish the beef pieces to get cool.

Stir in the tarragon, paprika, pepper flakes, coriander, fenugreek, lemon juice, garlic, and walnuts to the soup. Simmer until rice is tender (20-30 minutes).

When ready to serve, remove the soup from the heat, stir in the meat pieces and the 1/4 cup of fresh chopped herbs, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining herbs and ladle into bowls.

Serves 6