34 Ways to Cook With Walnuts

I’ve never been a person that goes wild for walnuts. They’re a superfood, so you’re supposed to like them. I dutifully buy walnuts in bulk and store them in one of those large hermetic jars (so they don’t go stale, of course) and they stare back at me……

I've never been a person that goes wild for walnuts. They're a superfood, so you're supposed to like them. I dutifully buy walnuts in bulk and store them in one of those large hermetic jars (so they don't go stale, of course) and they stare back at me…quietly, like walnuts do.

Enough with this game of chicken! I set out to create walnut recipes I'd hunger for. And I succeeded: 20 steal-your-heart savory-ish recipes, and 14 knockout sweet ones. Who knew walnuts could be so much more than a snack or a salad topping that really reads as an afterthought, a “might as well” addition.

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Gluten-free Snowball Cookies

These Gluten-free Snowball Cookies are nutty, buttery in a melt-in-your mouth way. They are similar to shortbread cookies, but baked as little balls and double rolled in powdered sugar to turn them into perfect snow balls. If you are looking for any ea…

These Gluten-free Snowball Cookies are nutty, buttery in a melt-in-your mouth way. They are similar to shortbread cookies, but baked as little balls and double rolled in powdered sugar to turn them into perfect snow balls. If you are looking for any easy, gluten-free, dairy-free recipe without specialty box mix, this is the one for...

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Plum Crumble with Walnut Oat Topping

This Simple Plum Crumble with Crunchy Walnut and Oat Topping is one of the easiest dessert recipes. You can’t go wrong with a crumble. No kneading, no shaping, no decorating. I usually make the crispy topping with a food processor, which is like …

This Simple Plum Crumble with Crunchy Walnut and Oat Topping is one of the easiest dessert recipes. You can’t go wrong with a crumble. No kneading, no shaping, no decorating. I usually make the crispy topping with a food processor, which is like 2 minutes tops. And a scoop of vanilla ice cream is a...

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Mushroom Meatballs

These absolutely delicious, rich and flavorful mushroom meatballs are so easy to make. We used only whole foods ingredients with the right combination of spices to create a truly unforgettable vegan or vegetarian meal. You’re going to immediately…

These absolutely delicious, rich and flavorful mushroom meatballs are so easy to make. We used only whole foods ingredients with the right combination of spices to create a truly unforgettable vegan or vegetarian meal. You’re going to immediately wonder why you don’t make these more often. If you love mushroom dishes, let me show your...

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Vegan Wellington

Let’s talk main course meals for the holidays! Besides this awesome Vegan Mushroom Wellington, you can try our the best juicy Vegan Lentil Loaf or our Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with light veggie stew topped with mashed celeriac-potatoes or our P…

Let’s talk main course meals for the holidays! Besides this awesome Vegan Mushroom Wellington, you can try our the best juicy Vegan Lentil Loaf or our Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with light veggie stew topped with mashed celeriac-potatoes or our Portobello Vegan Pot Roast our Vegan Pot Pie with gluten-free vegan pie crust or crispy sliced...

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BBQ Chickpea Meatballs

To make these easy Chickpea Meatballs you need a food processor and a couple of pantry staples and you are good to go. Enjoy them in as many ways as you can. Make meatballs sub, or dip them in BBQ sauce and stick them on a skewer or add them on top of …

To make these easy Chickpea Meatballs you need a food processor and a couple of pantry staples and you are good to go. Enjoy them in as many ways as you can. Make meatballs sub, or dip them in BBQ sauce and stick them on a skewer or add them on top of your spaghetti...

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Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze

A few years ago, I was extremely fortunate to meet Gina DePalma, who was (at the time) the pastry chef at Babbo in New York City. Being bakers, we struck up a friendship and she gave me a copy of her gorgeous book, Dolce Italiano. After we had dessert and coffee together, we ambled the streets of New York City for a bit, and made…

A few years ago, I was extremely fortunate to meet Gina DePalma, who was (at the time) the pastry chef at Babbo in New York City. Being bakers, we struck up a friendship and she gave me a copy of her gorgeous book, Dolce Italiano. After we had dessert and coffee together, we ambled the streets of New York City for a bit, and made plans to meet in Rome, where she was moving to work on her second book.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to have our Roman holiday, but I often thumb through her book and dream about how much fun we would have had lapping our way through the gelaterias of Rome and eating all those pastries with little sips of Italian espresso in between bites. Before she could plant her roots too firmly in Rome, Gina was diagnosed with cancer and returned to the States.

It’s been noted that her accomplishments were often overshadowed by the owner of Babbo, whose empire eventually fell. Gina was tough and although I never worked alongside her, co-workers noted that she didn’t suffer fools gladly, but she made such masterful desserts, and was such a talent, that you couldn’t help but have the utmost respect for Gina.

Her book, Dolci Italiano, has become a baking classic and is one of those exceptional cookbooks that makes excellent reading (as well as being an entirely enticing collection of recipes), especially the chapter on Italian ingredients, which isn’t just a rote list of what to buy. She discusses the importance of baking ingredients and what they mean to Italians: Olive oil isn’t just to moisten, it’s a flavor. And why citrus figures into Italian desserts more often than vanilla.

I was reminded of Gina recently when a reader alerted me to some links in this post led to the website of an adult film star who shared the same first and last name as Gina. Gina always got a chuckle out of that but after her passing, it seemed that Gina DePalma’s website (the one for the pastry chef and baker) somehow got co-opted by her, uh…racier counterpart. As I was switching out the links, I remembered how much I loved this Zucchini Cake of hers.

Since it’s summer, people with gardens are often bemoaning they have too many zucchini and are always looking for ways to use up their bounty. With a crunchy lemon glaze, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s the most delicious way to present a zucchini cake, whether you zucchini comes from your garden, or not.

The genius of the glaze is adding granulated sugar, which gives it an especially lemony, sweet, yet tangy crunch. The glaze is not a looker (which finally made me break out my silicone pastry brush for the first time, and I’m never going back to bristles again) but it tastes amazing with the spicy zucchini cake and I’m happy to let looks step aside to give way to flavor.

Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze
Adapted from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma This is a substantial (and very good) cake. The crunchy glaze with the tang of fresh lemon juice really makes the cake special. Be sure to grease the cake pan well to make sure it slides out easily (I use a non-stick one) and also make sure the cake is fully baked. Gina recommended olive oil in her original recipe, which is very good, but the cake also works with neutral vegetable oil in its place. The best way to invert the cake is to lay the cooling rack over the top of the cake pan, then grasping both the cake pan and the rack simultaneously (if it’s too hot, wear oven mitts), flip them both over at once. Lift off the cake pan, then liberally brush the glaze over the warm cake.
ServingsServes 12-16
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1cup (135g) almonds,pecans, or walnuts, toasted
  • 2cups (280g) flour
  • 1teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1/2teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs,at room temperature
  • 1 3/4cups (350g) sugar
  • 1cup (250ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2cups (300g) grated zucchini
For the lemon glaze:
  • 1/4cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3cup 65g) granulated sugar
  • 1cup (140g) powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease a 10 cup (2.5l) bundt or tube cake pan* with non-stick spray (preferably) or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess.
  2. 2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped.
  3. 3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, 1 3/4 cup (350g) sugar, and olive oil for 3 minutes on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer, then add the vanilla.
  5. 5. Mix in the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl to make sure everything is mixed in well, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  6. 6. Stir in the chopped nuts and zucchini.
  7. 7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan. Do not underbake the cake.
  8. 8. During the last few minutes of the cake baking, make the glaze by whisking together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar, and powdered sugar.
  9. 9. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto a cooling rack. Brush the glaze over the cake with a pastry brush and let the cake cool completely.
Recipe Notes

Storage and Notes:

-This cake is very good served on its own, but it could be accompanied by whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, cherry compote, or honey ice cream.

-The cake can be wrapped (or put under a cake dome) and will keep for a few days. You can freeze the unglazed cake. However to apply the glaze, you’ll need to defrost the cake, then warm it so the glaze will adhere properly.

-If you don’t have a bundt or tube pan, I noticed that both Adam and Sara made the cake in a regular round cake pan with good results.

-I haven't baked it in two loaf pans, which would likely work just fine. You may need to reduce the baking time to compensate for the smaller pans.

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Smoky Roasted Eggplant Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts

This roasted eggplant and red pepper dip is a smoky, rich, flavorful dip. It is the combination of two popular Middle Eastern classics baba ganoush and muhammara. Serve it with vegetables or with sliced pita bread, but it is especially delicious added …

This roasted eggplant and red pepper dip is a smoky, rich, flavorful dip. It is the combination of two popular Middle Eastern classics baba ganoush and muhammara. Serve it with vegetables or with sliced pita bread, but it is especially delicious added to a grilled cheese sandwich.  If you are looking for more eggplant recipes,...

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Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese (Cauliflower Walnut Meat)

This is a healthier, whole foods version of the all-time popular vegan bolognese recipe since we used cauliflower walnut meat. It is also super easy since you can make it in 20 minutes! We also included our famous hack on how to make extra creamy vegan…

This is a healthier, whole foods version of the all-time popular vegan bolognese recipe since we used cauliflower walnut meat. It is also super easy since you can make it in 20 minutes! We also included our famous hack on how to make extra creamy vegan bolognese sauce. Can’t wait to try it, right?  Need...

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Quinoa Salad with Berries and Candied Nuts

This Berry and Nuts Quinoa Salad is a light and fresh lunch or side salad, yet it has plenty of protein from quinoa and nuts. Fresh summer berries are little powerhouses of vitamins and are super kid-friendly. But the cinnamon toasted nuts will take th…

This Berry and Nuts Quinoa Salad is a light and fresh lunch or side salad, yet it has plenty of protein from quinoa and nuts. Fresh summer berries are little powerhouses of vitamins and are super kid-friendly. But the cinnamon toasted nuts will take this dish to the next level. Ingredients of a loaded vegan...

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