Walnuts at Martineau Gardens August 29, 2018

Have you noticed this green fruit at Martineau Gardens yet?

Just coming into season, the young ‘wet’ walnuts are plumping up nicely. Resembling in looks, a perfect, smooth ‘green’ plum and a little larger than a lime, (the walnut is the wrinkled stone inside) we have had lots of interest from visitors asking what they are.

The smell is exquisite.

Martineau Gardens is always delighted to see Ben (left) from Simpsons’ restaurant on a ‘foraging expedition’. This week he brought his colleague Andrei (right) and they left with a crop of walnuts for pickling.

Here’s a recipe (credit: Richard Mabey, Food for Free, ed. Collins Gem 2004) which our Visitor Welcome Team volunteer Roxy has encouraged us to sample:

Walnut Pickle:

“Use green walnuts; they should be soft enough to pass a knitting needle or skewer through. Prick them lightly with a fork to allow the pickle to permeate the skin and leave them to stand in strong brine for about a week until they are quite black. Drain and wash them and let them dry for two or three days more. Pack them into jars and cover with hot pickling vinegard. Seal the jars and allow ro stand for at least a month before eating.”