Hello, dear neighbors ! Getting hot over here — as in many other places in the Northern hemisphere. Meteorologists on French television – aren’t they cute – usually talk about soaring temperatures with a broad smile on their faces, from the comfort of their air-conditioned TV studios. Not many homes in France have A/C and so like most everyone I keep the wooden shutters closed, brace myself and start planning. Luckily, our appetite tends to be inversely proportionate to the intensity of the heat, and I end up making simple things such as this “nutty” spread, really good on crackers or toasted slices of gluten-free bread, on homemade blinis, inside unusual spring rolls we sometimes eat when traveling, or simply used as a filling in endive leaves – my husband was pleasantly surprised by this combination.
A simple recipe, then, that requires no cooking, but one with two constraints : first, the nuts have to soak the day before, and two, you need good equipment to blend / puree the soaked nuts : a food processor with a sturdy blade, and a reliable immersion blender. Sure, it’s an investment. But « Cheap stuff always turns out too expensive », as one of my great-aunts says. I wish you could meet her : in her nineties, she still bakes her own low sodium bread, and never fails to make several Christmas logs for the winter holidays – traditionally, a chocolate one, a coffee one, and a raspberry one, all worthy of a professional « pâtissier » !
Anyway, the heat must be melting my brain already, why am I talking about Christmas when summer has only just begun? Let’s move on to the recipe :
– 100 g / 3.5 oz raw cashews, unsulphured, no additives
– 50 g / 1.8 oz shelled walnuts, unsulphured, no additives. Beware of unshelled walnuts, often bleached to make them look “good”: bleach, like sulfites, will harm your gut flora.
– 1 TBSP fresh or frozen chives
– 1 TBSP fresh parsley
– ½ tsp all natural sea salt
– 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (lemons are a staple item in my pantry)
– 1 TBSP, or more, mildly flavored oil (such as canola or grapeseed oil) – quantity to be determined at blending time
– freshly ground white pepper, if tolerated
The day before :
Soak the nuts in a large volume of “safe” water; in our particular case, we use spring water – tap water not only contains chlorine, which my husband must avoid, but also potentially medication and pesticide residues, all of which I avoid when my ingredients are in prolonged contact with water.
The day of:
1. Drain and rinse the soaked nuts.
2. Blend with the rest of the ingredients (1 TBSP oil to start with) in a food processor until you get a rough paste.
3. Transfer to a tall container and finish pureeing with an immersion blender, adding a little more oil if necessary.
This spread keeps up to 4 days in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar.
I hope that all of my neighbors are in good health and spirits, enjoying a pleasant summer regardless of the temperatures!