Saturday, February 6, 2010

Roasted walnut and preserved lemon salsa

Hello everyone, last week I reported on my broken down fridge from the previous weekend. The new one is working beautifully, but my goodness, even though I think I don't have a lot in my fridge usually, I am very conscious of how much rebuilding I have to do. There are so many basic things that I reach for and then remember having to throw out whatever the item is. Slowly, slowly I am restoring things.

I tell you what, the fridge wasn't my only disaster. Last Saturday the clutch in my car went! It was terrible at the time (particularly as I was so flustered that I couldn't find the hazard lights!) This morning I was out and about in the car and so thankful that if the clutch had to go, thank goodness it wasn't today in the pelting rain. It could have been a lot worse!

On Sunday my friend Cathy and I went and tried a fairly recently opened restaurant called Cavallino in Terrey Hills of all places! Trust me, if you like authentic Italian food, it's worth the trip. I had really delicious hand made pasta (although the sauce was rather salty), and we indulged in profiteroles with a wicked chocolate sauce for dessert. Definitely worth a return visit, that one.

Today's recipe is another one that I snipped from the pages of Good Living, so I don't know whose creation it is. But I can assure you that it is luscious. And a bit unusual which is always good when you want to impress family and friends. The key is using fresh walnuts, which you can easily get at Harris Farm or nut shops, rather than packet walnuts, and rubbing them with a teatowel to remove as much skin as possible. Trust me, it doesn't take too long and once you have tried it you will see the difference it makes to the flavour of the nuts. The original recipe is made with coriander, but as I loathe that herb I used mint instead and it was lovely. The salsa is sensational served over barbecued fish, but of course you could do it with fish cooked any way you like, or serve the salsa with other meats or vegetables. It is very summery and refreshing.

Have a happy week! Love from Jane xxx

Roasted walnut and preserved lemon salsa

Serves about four

What you need:
  • 80g walnuts (shelled)
  • 3/4 of a preserved lemon
  • About 1 cup coriander or mint leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or less, use your judgement)
  • Sea salt

What you do:

  1. Roast the walnuts in a hot oven (200C) until golden brown (probably about ten minutes - stay close to the kitchen so you can judge the timing by the aroma).
  2. When the nuts have cooled, wrap them in a clean teatowel and rub vigorously to remove as much skin as possible.
  3. Roughly chop the walnuts and place in a bowl.
  4. Rinse the preserved lemon (does anyone actually do this? I don't), discard the pith and finely chop the skin.
  5. Add the lemon to the nuts.
  6. Add the chopped coriander/mint, lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt to taste.
  7. Spoon over whatever you have cooked to go with the salsa.
  • Note that the dressing is best when made just before serving.