I was talking with Joanna the other day about some upcoming shots and she mentioned she had some really cool walnuts. I say, “Walnuts?” Great, how cool can they be? She shows up for the shoot and what does she have, Red Walnuts. Okay, I must be living in the dark ages and just crawled out from under my rock. In my little world I am thinking the only walnuts I ever have known were black or English. The latter I shelled for my Grandmother. She used to candy them for the Holidays. Yum! She wouldn’t accept any that were not complete halves, so as a result we ate a lot of the remains.
Red Walnuts are not genetically modified and were created using natural methods of grafting Persian red-skinned walnuts onto larger and creamier English walnuts. Red walnuts are only red on the inside, the tree and the shells look just like your typical English Walnuts.
She drops down this bag and of walnuts and cracks open a few. Before my eyes are these gorgeous burgundy colored nuts. They don’t taste of burgundy, just a magnificent color. The color of them contrasts with the brown shell so nicely. Wow, fun stuff. We set out to see how we could use them in a dish. After several swings at the plate we decide on a compote with brie cheese. We tried several recipes and just had some fun playing with these cool nuts. I gotta be careful about using playing and nuts in the same sentence. People might get the wrong idea of what we shoot around here.
Red Walnuts are hard to come by. They grow slowly and are a late producing. The red coating on the flesh is very delicate. They grow in the San Joaquin Valley and are also know as Livermore Walnuts. You can order them from specialty online stores.