Saturday, 10 August 2013

SoakTEd Walnutses

NAME: _SoakTEd Walnutses

Walnuts (quantity to fill a jar of your choice, see METHOD)
Olive oil

Sterilise your jar and lid in boiling water, also sterilise a slightly smaller plastic lid that will fit inside the jar mouth to hold walnuts down from floating out of the brine. While you're dealing with hot water, make a brine of around 4tsp - 6tsp salt per litre of water, allow this to cool before using.

Shell as many walnuts as you'll need to fill your jar. (I've generally made this in 250mL jars, just enough for a TV snack for two people.) Separate the walnut halves and remove the dried membrane and discard.

Put walnut halves and other stray pieces into the jar, shake down to compact. Leave about half a centimetre at the top - depends on the lid you're going to use to hold walnuts down. Add the cooled brine to cover walnuts, put the smaller lid in upside down to hold the walnuts submerged, and put a few layers of cloth over the jar, or put the lid on but leave open.

Leave in a cool dark spot (pantry, kitchen cupboard, etc) for a few days. Check daily - if it begins to bubble or fine white yeast pinpricks star to form, the walnuts are done. Also, after four days, no matter whether bubbles or yeast have formed, consider the walnuts done.

Empty walnuts onto a teatowel or cloth, and shake vigorously to shed the excess brine. Don't wash them, instead spread them out on a baking tray, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast at 180C for about 15 - 20 minutes, stirring them around once to ensure even roasting. You want them just starting to brown a bit.

Serve hot, eat right away. Or allow to cool, and use in cooking. Warning: These may cause you to explode with bliss. Seriously...

There's a lot of stuff online about "activating" nuts, so I thought I'd try it with a fermentation process, only I didn't want to fully ferment them, just start them. Four days is about the limit. I may try a bunch done fermented vegetable style, left for a month or so with a starter of lactobacillus. (From whey or sauerkraut liquid.)


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