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Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Here's a purée that dresses up a dish with a more nutritious punch than your standard starchy mashed potatoes.

Texture plays a big part in our perception of taste, so if you take the time to blend this purée until it’s perfectly smooth, you’ll get the maximum flavor from your walnuts. This silky purée is subtle enough to pair well with other delicate ingredients, but it’s important to season it with salt in order to bring out its gentle and nuanced nutty flavor.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Maximize flavor. Always toast raw nuts before using them in order to release their rich, nutty flavor. Even though we’re cooking them in broth, it’s important to toast them first.
  2. Refine texture. Undercooked walnuts will be difficult to blend, so be sure to simmer them until they can’t be easily crushed with the back of a spoon. To cut down the cooking time, chop your toasted nuts roughly before putting them in the broth.
  3. Improve consistency. The purée might thicken up as it sits, but you can adjust the consistency by adding a little hot water or stock.

Toolbox

These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Immersion blender. This electric kitchen gadget is a long stick with blender blades at the end. For the walnut purée, we used a model that comes with it’s own work bowl attachment – perfect for blending a small amount without making a big mess.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Medium-sized baking sheet

Small pot

Small bowl

Blender or hand blender with attachment

Wax paper


Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cups walnuts (5-ounces)
  • 2-3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cardamom pods, seeds only
  • ¼ cup walnut oil

Serves: 4

Total Time: 35 minutes

Active Time: 15 minutes

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Place walnuts on a medium-sized baking sheet and place in oven to toast, about 6 to 10 minutes. Nuts are done when the center of a nut (when broken in half) is a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Set aside ¼ cup walnuts in a small bowl. Toss with a drizzle of walnut oil (reserving the ¼ cup walnut oil for the walnut purée) and season with salt and pepper. Save to use as a garnish.
  3. Place remaining walnuts in a small sauce pan, add salt, pepper, bay leaf, cardamom seeds, walnut oil and enough stock to cover walnuts by 1 ½ inches. Cook until walnuts are soft (you should be able to smash one with the back of a spoon) and the stock has reduced to the level of the nuts. Remove the bay leaf.
  4. Pour into hand blender and blend until completely smooth, at least 3 minutes. If you do not have a hand blender, a food processor or blender are good equipment substitutes.
  5. Transfer to a small pot and cover with wax paper to keep warm.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Grilled chicken skewers & walnut purée

For a robust chicken dish, season 1/2 cup of the walnut purée with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons Mae Ploy (or 2 tablespoons sugar + 1 tablespoon sambal), juice of one lime and 1 clove grated garlic. Cut chicken breast into 1-inch pieces and skewer.  Grill the skewers and dress with the seasoned walnut purée, garnish with chopped water chestnuts and serve with steamed vegetables on the side.

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