Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ingredient of the Day: Walnuts

“Stay away from the nuts,” my dad always said to me as a little girl, referring to walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, pecans and any other delicious morsels that came my way. I always thought it was because he didn’t like them and he was saving us from the inevitable fate of eating one. However, I later learned that in fact he did like them. Actually, he loved them. But he was always afraid that we would choke on them because they break apart so easily in your mouth.

It took me years before I actually began eating them, and it took me even longer to like them. Now that I do, I think they are a perfect accompaniment to almost any salad, fish or chocolate dish around. They are also loaded with tons of Omega-3 fatty acids and are known for lowering cholesterol.

For those of you who don’t know, many of the walnuts we eat today are genetically modified versions of the originals. These new nuts are designed to have thinner shells with more nut-meat inside. Translation: heaven. And speaking of heaven, I think walnuts look like a pair of pale, brown, caramel angel wings, with each ridged side connected by one thin centerpiece. There’s nothing like them.

Happy Cooking!