A selection of recipes for green walnuts.
Pick only young green walnuts – usually around June. Remember that walnuts stain. Great for making homemade hair dye and self-tan, but will make your fingers look disgusting if you don’t wear gloves!
Prick your nuts. If you can feel a shell inside them, discard them. They must have an unformed shell.
Soak them in brine. (Brine is just salty water. To make brine add 100g of salt to every 1 litre of water).
Leave them in the brine for 10-12 days. After 3-5 days drain and refresh with fresh brine for the rest of the period.
Then drain them and dry them on a rack for 24 hours. They will go black.
Put your black walnuts in a jar, and cover with spiced pickling vinegar.
Marinate for a month or two – depending on the vinegar solution you used and the taste that you like. Presto! Pickled walnuts!
Pickled Walnut Ketchup
Now, if you want to really stretch this crop. Once you have pickled your walnuts and are ready to eat them, don’t throw away the vinegar. I have put a suggested foraged edible wild spice mix and also a kitchen equivalent.
Strain the vinegar off (eat the pickled nuts) and to each 1 litre of vinegar add:
1 tsp ground toasted hogweed seed (1 tsp. ground cardamon)
1 tsp wild dried fennel seed (1 tsp. ground fennel)
1 tsp dried alexanders seed (1 tsp. ground celery seed)
100g wild garlic or 15 bulbs of wild garlic (40g / 6 garlic cloves)
7 to 10 cm of horseradish root (hot)
Boil for 15-20 minutes to reduce the mixture. Strain. Bottle (in sterilised jars or bottles) and use instead of ketchup!
Spicy Green Walnut Pickle Pesto
Keep back some of your green walnut ketchup. Put handfuls of any of the following into a blender (adding to suit your taste):
Hairy bittercress (leaves and flowers)
Wild garlic leaves (leaves and flowers)
Three cornered leek (leaves and flowers)
Ground elder leaves
Pine nuts (gathered from pine or monkey puzzle trees of course)
Add green walnut ketchup a little at a time. Blend until you reach pesto consistency.