(Dec. 3) Add a little zing to your appetizer or garnish repertoire with spicy walnuts. Since the nutritious nuts are available year-round, they go with any seasonal plate you offer. There are many ways to coat walnuts with spices. Experiment with these three.

  • For rosemary, allspice or lemon-spiced walnuts, consider an egg white coating. Place the nuts in just enough egg white to provide a coating. Transfer the coated walnuts to a sieve to remove excess liquid. Place the spice mix in a bag and shake the walnuts in the spice mix. Bake them until they are crispy and brown. This method adds no fat.

  • Use a simple syrup to make cinnamon or orange walnuts. To make the syrup, boil together equal amounts of sugar and water, let it cool and pour it into a spray bottle. Arrange the walnuts on a parchment-lined tray and spray it with the syrup. Sprinkle it with the seasoning mix and bake it. Turn the walnuts and add additional syrup spray and seasoning mix until you get the consistency you desire. It’s easy to apply and there’s no added fat.

  • For a smoky or barbecue flavor, try smoking walnuts. Soak or par-boil nutmeats in lightly salted water and place them in a smoking chamber after they have softened a little.

For a quick smoking method, place the spices and/or woodchips in a heavy skillet over a heat source. Then place a second pan or screen containing the walnuts over the bottom pan and cover with a large, heavy lid. Smoking gives a savory flavor and is simple to prepare.

Source: California Walnut News