Makes about 11/2 cups.
Note: From "The Homemade Pantry," by Alana Chernila.
• 1 lb. ( 31/2 c.) shelled, raw nuts
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
• 2 tsp. honey
• 1 to 4 tbsp. canola or peanut oil, depending on the nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or just until they begin to brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the nuts to cool slightly.
Place the nuts, salt and honey in the bowl of a food processor. Blend for 20 seconds. With the motor still running, drizzle a tablespoon of oil into the bowl through the chute in the lid, and process for 30 seconds. If the nut butter is still dry, continue to blend and add oil, a little at a time. Process for up to another minute to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust for salt, if needed, and stir in any flavorings you wish.
Keeps refrigerated in a covered container for up to 1 month.
ROASTED PEANUT RELISH
Makes 1 cup.
Note: This garlicky chutney is a staple in Maharashtra, India. Mix with softened, unsalted butter for a zesty sandwich spread or smear the spicy butter on a grilled steak or steamed vegetables. From "Quick-Fix Indian," by Ruta Kahate.
• 1 c. roasted peanuts
• 1/2 tsp. garlic paste (see recipe)
• 1 tsp. cayenne, or 1/2 tsp. each cayenne and paprika
In a spice grinder, pulse-grind the peanuts into a coarse powder. Scrape into a small bowl. Mix in the garlic paste, cayenne and salt to taste. The texture should be rather lumpy. Store in refrigerator.
Makes 1/2 cup.
Note: From "Quick-Fix Indian," by Ruta Kahate.
• 4 oz. garlic cloves, peeled
• 1 tbsp. canola oil
• 2 tbsp. water
Place garlic in a blender. With motor running, add the oil, then water. Blend to a smooth paste, scraping down the sides often. Transfer to a clean glass jar, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Makes 1 cup.
Note: You can make walnut butter using raw, soaked or toasted walnuts. See directions to decide which you prefer. From Mollie Katzen at www.walnuts.org.
• 2 c. walnuts•1/4 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. walnut or vegetable oil, or as needed
• Honey to taste, optional
• Cinnamon to taste, optional
Use raw walnuts for a very creamy and smooth texture that tastes like a just-shelled walnut. Walnuts that have been soaked overnight, then toasted at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to dry them out, offer a more textured walnut butter. Toasting unsoaked walnuts for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees will result in a sweet, nutty-flavored, coarse-textured butter.
Place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and grind them until they become sticky or pastelike.
Add the salt. Add the oil, a little at a time until the walnut butter binds together. Add small amounts of honey and/or cinnamon to taste.