Black Walnut Veggie Fritters, Week Ending 1/24/2021

After finally harvesting and processing black walnuts (Juglans nigra), as described in last week’s post, I was excited to finally enjoy the fruits (er, nuts) of my labor.

Enter: Black walnut veggie fritters.

I picked this recipe for a variety of reasons. The ingredients could be grown or foraged locally, except for the lemon. (I do have a Meyer lemon tree growing indoors, but none of the fruits were ripe in time for this recipe). Additionally the recipe is already low carb, gluten free and paleo! (Except for the sour cream-based dipping sauce, but one could always substitute a different sauce as needed or desired). I didn’t have to tweak the recipe at all to accommodate my weird dietary habits! So rather than retype the recipe, here is a link to the original.

(I’m still eyeing that Calabrian cake recipe as well…)

Even though I didn’t modify the recipe enough to write up my own version, I did make substitutions. Instead of zucchini (out of season), I used freeze dried shredded trombetta squash from my own garden. I also used avocado oil to fry the veggie fritters because I am still looking for a good locally-sourced substitute that tolerates high heat.

Black walnut vegetable fritters with  lemon herb dip
Black walnut vegetable fritters with lemon herb dip

(FYI, I call them “veggie fritters” rather than “latkes” since latkes include potato by definition … if my opinion matters here!)

The “one cup” of black walnuts called for in the ingredients ended up being exactly the 1/2 cup used in the directions, so now I know for future recipes that the quantity of black walnut pieces reduces by half when ground into meal.

I chose to use the smallest bits of nut that I had separated when processing last week, since they were the closest to “meal” texture in the first place. In retrospect, this was a terrible idea. So many tiny bits of walnut shell crept into the fritters! I should have just used the larger pieces, and tossed out the small bits despite all the work which had gone into them. Better than breaking a tooth!

A cross section of  a black walnut veggie fritter because that gave me an excuse to eat half while photographing it
A cross section of a black walnut veggie fritter because that gave me an excuse to eat half while photographing it

I ended up making nine fritters altogether, and they were absolutely amazing. It was all I could do not to eat them all at one sitting before I could even photograph them! You can see how well they held together in the picture above. The black walnuts gave them an unexpectedly meaty texture that I thoroughly enjoyed. What’s more, the fritters were equally delicious cold. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

What’s your favorite way to use black walnuts? What else are you foraging in these cold winter months?

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