The summer issue

Our summer-packed January issue is out now - featuring our guide to summer rieslings, strawberries and seafood recipes, as well as a look at the best of Bali.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for just $6 an issue - offer ends 29th January, 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Reader lunch: Fred's, Sydney
24.01.2017

Beat the queues to Sydney's most sought-after table and join us for a knockout summery lunch at Fred's.

Greg Malouf returns to Dubai
24.01.2017

After spending the past 12 months writing books and doing one-off dinners the Australian chef is poised to open an exciting new restaurant in the Middle Eastern capital.

Merivale’s The Chicken Shop opens this week
24.01.2017

Ben Greeno’s long-awaited side-hustle, The Chicken Shop, is opening on Australia Day, right next to The Paddington.

Nour Sydney kicks off guest chef series
23.01.2017

Ghostboy Cantina did it with Temp Taquero in Dixon House and at Tio's. Automata did it with Auto.Lab. And now Nour, the powder-pink themed modern Lebanese eatery in Surry Hills, is joining the club with a guest chef series, too.

Our third Chinese-language edition is out now
23.01.2017

Dedicated to being the best guide to Australia, our latest Chinese-language edition includes a checklist of the country's essential new restaurants, our most beautiful beaches, and much more.

Blanca Bar & Dining to open in Bondi this week
23.01.2017

Bjorck describes the food as "European-style," but with "nice fresh Japanese flavours".

Jackalope hotel opens on the Mornington Peninsula
20.01.2017

Glamour, sophistication and luxury have arrived on the Peninsula, with a crack-team of staff assembled to make it a success.

Stokehouse, Melbourne Review
19.01.2017

An Australian dining landmark rises from the ashes: the Stokehouse is back ready to please the crowds for at least another generation to come, writes Michael Harden.

April: Walnuts


You'll need

360 gm (1 cup) honey 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream 250 gm (2½ cups) walnuts, roasted 1 orange, finely grated rind only

Method

  • 01
  • Combine walnuts and orange rind in a bowl. Heat honey and cream in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes or until it reaches 121C (firm ball stage) on a sugar thermometer. Pour honey mixture over walnuts, stir to combine and place tablespoonfuls on a lightly oiled oven tray. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container between layers of baking paper in refrigerator or a cool place.

The walnut has long been one of the world’s most prized nuts. It fetched high prices in ancient Rome, where it was thrown at weddings as other cultures might throw rice or confetti. These esteemed nuts were thought to have been domesticated thousands of years ago in an area stretching across north-east Turkey, the Caucasus and northern Iran. They were introduced to England from Gaul, and their English name derives from the old English wealhhnutu, meaning ‘foreign nut’.

Today, walnut trees can be found growing across many temperate regions of the world, including France, Italy, China, Japan and Argentina. The US state of California is the world’s biggest producer of walnuts. In Australia, they are grown in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Victoria’s Ovens Valley and areas of Tasmania and South Australia. The Australian walnut industry has been bolstered recently by management investment schemes, and at present its annual production is 500 tonnes, expected to reach 22,000 tonnes in five years. The Australian walnut season runs from April to May.

Varieties
In the same family as pecans and other hickory nuts, there about 21 species of walnut, though it is rarely sold by variety in Australia. Most commonly available are the darkly-coloured American walnuts, which have a strong flavour and an ability to withstand cooking, unlike other varieties such as the milder Persian walnut.

In south-west France, walnuts are known by their varieties – typically Corne, Mabot and Grandjean, and the hazelnut-sized noix noisette.

Walnuts have a smooth, green outer husk, which splits as it matures to bear the hard, oval creamy-brown shell within. The shell then dries out and hardens, making it easier to crack, revealing the brain-like kernel (in fact, the word for walnut in Afghanistan means ‘four brains’) which splits into two halves.

Walnuts are harvested at varying stages throughout maturation and even green walnuts may be eaten in their entirety. The green fleshy skin is used in France to make a liqueur originally formulated by the Chartreuse monks, while in parts of Europe and Asia they are pickled or made into sauces and jams. In the Middle East and Greece, half-ripe walnuts are preserved in a heavy syrup and used to accompany desserts. In Italy, Nocino, or walnut liqueur, is produced by infusing black and other walnuts in brandy for two years.

For the production of walnut oil, nuts are stored for up to three months, allowing their milky juices to run clear, then pressed. The oil can be used in salad dressings or to drizzle over roasted vegetables.

How to buy, store…
Walnuts become rancid quite quickly because of their high oil content and are best bought as required.

Anna Del Conte writes in Secrets from an Italian Kitchen, “…old walnuts first develop a piquant taste that tickles your tongue unpleasantly, and later they become rancid. A single piece of rancid walnut can ruin your dish.”

Whole nuts may be stored for up to three months. Shelled nuts are best stored in an airtight container and refrigerated to slow their deterioration.

And cook
Walnuts are used in sweet preparations such as cakes, biscuits and confectionary – one of the most well known is baklava. They also appear in many savoury dishes, like the famous Waldorf salad, as well as in stuffings and sauces, or blended into soups. Of course, they can be simply eaten raw or toasted, sometimes as an accompaniment to cheese. Some recipes call for the nuts to be peeled. To do this, blanch them in boiling water, then remove as much of the papery skin as possible with a small knife.

* For a walnut, pear and radicchio salad, combine sliced pear, toasted walnuts, thinly sliced celery and torn radicchio leaves. Mix walnut oil and red wine vinegar and season to taste, drizzle over salad and toss to combine.

* For a fig an


At A Glance

  • Serves 30 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 30 people

Additional Notes

 

ALSO IN SEASON

Fruit and nuts

Apples, bananas, cumquats, custard apples, feijoas, grapes, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, melons, nashi, nuts, pears, persimmons, quinces, rhubarb.

Vegetables

Asian greens, avocados, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, celeriac, celery, daikon, eggplant, fennel, garlic, ginger, horseradish, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, olives, onions, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, shallots, silverbeet, spinach, squash, swedes, sweet potatoes, taro, tomatoes, turnips, witlof, zucchini.

Seafood

Calamari, garfish, John Dory, mullet, octopus, perch, rock lobster, snapper, trout, trevally, whiting.

You might also like...

Italian breakfast recipes

recipes

Christmas pudding ice-cream

Pizza recipes

recipes

Raspberry and Mint Mojito

Chef's spaghetti Bolognese recipes: L to Z

recipes

Neil Perry: Prawn cocktail

Chef's spaghetti Bolognese recipes: B to K

recipes

Serge Dansereau: Blueberry vanilla tart

Mother's Day recipes

recipes

Barbecue trout bundles with prosciutto and button mushrooms

Easter recipes

recipes

Serge Dansereau: Homemade lemonade

Classic Italian recipes

recipes

Serge Danserau: Duck confit and potato terrine

Easter lunch recipes

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×