Food you'll go nuts for
EAT IN:Tasty, interesting dishes, both featuring nutritious nuts, will wait patiently until you’re ready to eat them and are perfect for a big gathering
WHY IS IT that walnuts become so rancid tasting in comparison to other nuts? The answer lies in the fact that they contain so much omega 3 linolenic acid – the good kind of essential fatty acid. But in comparison to other nuts, it is less stable in walnuts and therefore susceptible to becoming rancid quite quickly, in comparison to almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts, for example.
Health experts advise that you should use shelled walnuts that can then be stored in the freezer. I prefer to keep them in an airtight container in the fridge.
This Circassian chicken recipe is a traditional Turkish dish, but one I was vaguely reluctant to try as I thought it was going to be complete and utter nut overkill, combined with smoked sweet paprika, which just sounded wrong.
The initial recipe was all a bit long-winded and convoluted. I knew we wanted to end up with moist chicken that was going to be shredded and doused with walnut sauce. I imagined eating it at room temperature with some sort of Middle Eastern bread, sitting on cushions with twinkling lights nearby and a selection of other dips and goodies to dunk into. Perhaps some belly dancers would appear.
The reality was somewhat different – layers of anoraks and blankets, freezing ourselves trying to enjoy a last al fresco supper, all twinkling lights being extinguished by the drizzling rain. Anyway, the chicken got the thumbs up and we all agreed that this is a great party dish, as part of a larger affair, as it tastes great at room temperature and will go with plenty of vegetables or salads and nice bread. Spuds or rice really aren’t necessary.
The other dish is a slightly fancier version of what I force my family to eat once a week. Usually I just roast the cauliflower florets in a hot oven with lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, some turmeric and mild curry powder at about 200 degrees/gas 6, until it starts to burn. Then I shake it about, sometimes put more oil on it and turn the heat up or down depending on how quickly it’s cooking. It is completely and utterly addictive, once you master the art between burnt and too steamy.
In this recipe, I’ve bulked it out by adding baby potatoes and blue cheese, plus some raisins for added sweetness. Feel free to leave it out and maybe consider adding some goat’s cheese, or no cheese at all, in which case you may want to use fewer raisins as you won’t need to combating the strong, salty cheese.
Chicken with walnut sauce
1 onion, peeled and diced
4 tsp smoked sweet paprika
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Big bunch parsley
Juice of 4 lemons
3 tbsp plain or Greek yoghurt