This is a paid partnership with Opies Foods
Pickled walnuts are a quintessential British food with a much-loved following – me included! If you haven't tried them before, you might be surprised to know they're not hard and crunchy, as you might expect from a regular walnut. Instead, they have a soft firmness, with a flavour that offers an earthy richness alongside a dark and tangy liquor that's sweet and lightly spiced.
These qualities make pickled walnuts a versatile cooking ingredient that's not just for cheese and charcuterie: they make a tasty and surprising addition to pies, stews, quiches and salads, too. The spiced vinegar also adds a great depth to dressings, sauces and gravies, which means you can easily make use of the whole jar without too much waste.
Pickled walnuts are the unsung heroes of my Mushroom, Pickled Walnut & Ale Cobbler, adding a rich umami depth of flavour that can sometimes be lacking in vegan cooking.
Opies Pickled Walnuts can be found in all major supermarkets in the pickle aisle, and cost around £3 a jar.
For more exciting ways to use them, head over to @opiesfoods on Facebook or Instagram, or visit their website.
For the mushrooms
40g porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut
1 onion, diced
2 bay leaves
A few sprigs of thyme
700g baby or regular chestnut mushrooms, large ones halved or quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp marmite
2 tsp tamari sauce
1 veggie stock pot or stock cube
2-3 Opies pickled walnuts, roughly chopped
For the cobbler topping
350g self-raising flour
3 tbsp mixed chopped herbs – parsley, chives, thyme, dill or rosemary will all work
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp sea salt
200g chilled plant-based butter, chopped into cubes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pickled walnut, finely chopped
2-4 tbsp cold water
6 bay leaves
Vegetables of your choice, plus boiled or mashed potatoes
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