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Walnut Paste

  • Makes 1½ cups
Walnut Paste

New Zealand walnuts are buttery and have a delicate flavour, bearing no resemblance to the Chinese walnuts that dominate the market. Between 50-100 tonnes of walnuts are produced by local growers each year, mainly in South Canterbury. They can be bought whole in the shell, in perfect halves, or in shelled pieces and their convoluted shape makes them ideal for cake decoration.


  • 150 grams shelled walnuts
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 smalled crushed clove garlic
  • rind and juice of ½ lemon
  • ½-¾ cup light olive oil
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp grated fresh nutmeg


  1. In a food processor put walnuts with parmesan, garlic, lemon and process with olive oil to make a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper, paprika and nutmeg.
  2. Toss through pasta with crispy bacon and chives or use to top crackers.

Cooks Tips

Buying: New Zealand walnuts are usually stamped with the date they were processed so you know they are fresh. Nuts are shelled throughout the year. Storing: High in oil and prone to rancidity, walnuts should be kept in the freezer. They have a low water content, which means you can take them out and return them to the freezer with no deterioration in flavour. Preparing: Whole walnuts only require cracking, but remove the papery membrane surrounding the nut meat as this is bitter. Cooking: Green walnuts are sour and often turned into pickles, ketchups and jam. Eat ripe walnuts fresh or use in cooking. Walnut oil makes a delicious salad dressing.

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