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The Green Dish: Nutty For Hazelnuts

The Green Dish: Nutty For Hazelnuts

I woke up this morning with hazelnuts ribboning through my thoughts. Their snappy, clean crunch and sweet nuttiness kept replaying in my mind, nothing more than that, just crunch and savor, over and over. It was like having a song stuck in my head.

I like nuts. But until now, the hazelnut has been evasive. What inspired its new role in my waking daydream was a salad I made, inspired by a winter version I had at a restaurant (Marlowe and Son in Brooklyn) back in the cool weather. The first salad used soft, ripe Anjou pears (which I replaced with sweet local strawberries), honey and some lovely aged cheese—capped with a dash of toasted hazelnuts. It was so simple and so super scrumptious. With the warm-weather version, the sweet perfume of the strawberries was teased out by the honey, sexed up with the salty cheese, and the whole tangle rippling with that rich pop of the hazelnuts. It was so nice.

Why have I stayed away from hazelnuts for so long? It may have something to do with their alias—perhaps I have been uninspired to pine for a nut called filbert. Foods are often renamed with marketing in mind (prunes became dried plums, Patagonian toothfish became Chilean sea bass). And while it wasn’t marketing that led to the dual-moniker filbert/hazelnut, in my house they were called filberts. Although I might find something called a filbert rather charming in a geeky way now, I think that sometimes my poetic association with food names has been inhibiting in the past.

So here I am, smitten with filberts! And gorging on strawberries strewn with them. I think they would make a fine addition to any fruit, really. I know they are glorious with winter fruits, and I’m looking forward to more spring fruits sprinkled with them, and then moving on to summer peaches and apricots—where the rich flavor of the hazelnuts will tame the exuberant sweetness of the fruit, and supply some more food for my daydreams for another season.

Strawberry and Hazelnut Salad
1 pint fresh local strawberries
1/3 cup hazelnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
Shaved aged cheese (I used an aged Gouda, but even a simple aged Parmesan works well)
Honey for drizzling

Rinse and hull berries, place in a bowl, top with hazelnuts, garnish with cheese, drizzle with honey.

Read more: All recipes, Blogs, Soups & Salads, , , ,

By Melissa Breyer, Senior Editor, Care2 Green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

12 comments

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1:13AM PDT on May 2, 2013

Never! It's choke-full of parasites and allergens!

12:34AM PDT on Oct 4, 2011

Thanks.

5:13PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Thanks for the info.

5:14AM PST on Nov 15, 2010

Thanks for the article.

4:31PM PDT on Mar 19, 2010

I made the strawberry and hazelnut salad today. (I used a good parmesan.) It was fabulous! I had forgotten how good hazelnuts can be. I first discovered them when I lived in Germany. (They are used extensively there.) Thanks for the recipe. What a treat.

5:43PM PDT on Mar 18, 2010

Thanks.

1:41PM PDT on Mar 18, 2010

Otherwise great, but it has to be vegan for me...

7:53AM PDT on Mar 18, 2010

thank you

7:53AM PST on Jan 5, 2010

sounds lovely.

9:18AM PDT on Jun 19, 2008

This sounds fantastic! I'll have to try it. Thanks for the idea =)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Great ideas! Thanks!

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