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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Walnut Condiments For Pancakes And Salads

Fall is definitely setting in, and that means walnuts are dropping from trees. We make two condiment recipes today that feature their earthy taste.

After you collect the walnuts and remove the hulls, wash them thoroughly. "Any of them that float you throw away, because they don’t have any nutmeat in them," says Tracy Branam.

Going Nuts For Walnuts

America’s bats are in trouble. In parts of the Northeast U.S., their numbers have decreased by 97 percent. Now, researchers are bracing for the possibility of massive population declines in the Midwest as well. Harvest Public Media’s Tim Lloyd reports that losing a big part of Mother Nature’s pest control crew could prove costly for farmers.

Walnuts are difficult to prepare, with their hard green hulls and black goo surrounding the nutmeat. Commercial walnut sellers have pricey equipment that hull the nuts, but forager Tracy Branam does it the old-fashioned way: he runs over the walnuts with his truck.

Chef Daniel Orr’s recipe for Black Walnut And Maple Butter features grade B maple syrup from Burton’s Maplewood Farm, which has a more robust flavor than grade A syrup. It also includes lemon juice and zest. “The acidity will cut a little bit of the sweetness of the maple syrup,” he says.

Then he prepares a vinaigrette dressing that honors his father Lefty. It is simple, elegant and easy to make. It is brilliant from late fall through the spring, especially on salads with a balance of sweet and salty components. Think pears and blue cheese.

News Stories In The Podcast:

Stories On This Episode

Holy Battered Bats! Double Menace Threatens Farmers’ Helpers

America's bats are in trouble. In parts of the Northeast U.S., their numbers have decreased by 97. What does this mean for farmers?

‘Tis The Season: Foraging For Persimmons And Walnuts

Fall is a special time of year for foragers like Tracy Branam. These days he's on the hunt for persimmons and walnuts.

Black Walnut And Maple Butter

I foraged for these walnuts at my house in Columbus, Indiana. Now it's time to turn them into a taste topping for pancakes!

Lefty’s Black Walnut Vinaigrette

This walnut vinaigrette recipe is in honor of my father Lefty, who taught me how to forage for and prepare these delicious nuts.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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