Black Walnuts at 1508 Last Night

Photo Jacqulyn Maisonneuve
For years we have gotten Black Walnuts for the Path Valley Cooperative. The unique earthiness and slightly fermented flavor in is something we look forward to cooking with every winter. This year we have been making a black walnut "cheese" that we have used in several different dishes over the last several weeks. For the second seated course last night we layered thinly sliced scarlet turnips, small white beans, wilted chard, spaghetti squash and the black walnut cheese in a baking pan and cooked it slowly until the flavors melded. Just before serving we roasted some Oregon Chanterelles to finish off the dish. The nut cheese is made by soaking raw black walnuts for a few hours and then pureeing them in a food processor with a bit of the soaking water, some olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs.

We served this dish last night for a small office holiday celebration at 1508. As guests thanked us for the evening we could not help but thank them for being such enthusiastic diners. At our Home Restaurant the interaction with our guests is less mediated than in a traditional restaurant setting. I present each course and talk about the food, where it comes from, the wine that we are pairing and the collaborative effort that results in the food. Guests wander in and out of the kitchen during the night, see us at work, and often ask questions about specific preparations and ingredients.

Our guests last night were engaged in each other, the food and the was a joy.

Below is the entire menu:


Cauliflower Puree with Oregon Black Truffle
Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin Seed Puree
Seared Sea Scallop on Corncake with Chives
Roasted Chicken and Celeriac
Beef Tongue with Watermelon Radish
Grilled Brussel Sprout

Scented Geranium Infused Vodka Martini
(Abymes)Vin de Savoie 2008

Egg in the Hole with Beet Broth and Arugula Sprouts
(Vissoux) Fleurie "Les Garants" 2007

Chanterelle Cassoulet with Spaghetti Squash, Turnip, White Beans, Black Walnut and Chard
Roasted Garlic Bread
(Tissot) Arbois Chardonnay "Classique" 2007

Wreckfish with Leek, Carrot, Saffron Mashed Potatoes and Kale
Rosemary Spelt Bread
(Rossignol-Trapet) Gevrey-Chabertin 2006

Warm Applesauce
(Tissot) Cremant du Jura NV (Chard/Pinot Noir)

Orange Cake with Black Truffle Sorbet and Candied Pecans

Sesame Semolina, Chocolate Coconut, Gingersnap, Oatmeal Spice