Wet Walnuts are a true seasonal specialty – they describe walnuts that have just fallen off the tree – the kernel inside has not yet dried, but is soft, a bit juicy and with a milder, more delicate flavour.
They are also local, unlike the dried supermarket varieties that are usually grown in California. These were picked under a 150 year old walnut tree in a garden in South Harting. They will dry naturally if you leave them for a few weeks.
Walnuts are one of our native nuts (along with cobnuts and chestnuts) and can be enjoyed with any meal, from Breakfast, lunch and dinner. They make delicious snacks and work brilliantly in cakes and brownies, adding a sophisticated layer of flavour that keeps the grown ups happy.
Not only are they very tasty, but they are also extremely good for you. According to nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert: “Walnuts are great ‘brain food’ as studies show that walnuts promote cognitive function thanks to the fact that they contain omega 3 fatty acids, which increase the activity in the brain. Omega 3 is also important for healthy heart function. Walnuts provide a variety of minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, iron and magnesium.” I think the challenge of getting them out of the shell also keeps the grey matter ticking over!
I would recommend them in salads – (a version of a Waldorf salad with local apples is a great seasonal option), on your breakfast muesli, or gently roast them for more flavour. They are perfect for making pesto in place of pine nuts, and are a superb accompaniment to cheese. You can either use a nut cracker or prise them open with a penknife which you insert between the halves at the rounded end and twist.
It’s always worth keeping an eye out for walnut trees – the residents of Compton have a couple of superb trees if they know where to look!
Available for the next 4 weeks for £11.99/ kg