May 17, 2013

National Walnut Day

"Well, honey, of course He exists! Just look at the beautiful sky, the majestic trees. God created man and gave him a heart and a mind and thighs that could crack walnuts." - Blanche, The Golden Girls

It's National Walnut Day!

Supposedly, the Walnut Marketing Board created a Walnut Day in June, 1949 to promote the nut and educate the health benefits to the public. In 1958 a Senate Resolution was signed by President Eisenhower and the very first National Walnut Day was celebrate that year on May 17th. Walnuts really are awesome for you, too - they're full of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin E; they reduce cholesterol and are good for cardiovascular health just to name a few. In some cultures they symbolize intelligence, too (is that maybe because the nut is shaped like a brain?).

And now you're all the wiser, foodies!

A couple Cinco De Mayo's ago, my friend and I were working as Dos Equis girls at a pretty hip(ster filled) restaurant in Portland, ME. The crowd was especially uninterested in she and I despite the fact that we were buying beers for anyone (21+ or older) who was interested. So, we gave up on trying to impress everyone, got really expensive margaritas, and ordered just about everything on the appetizer menu including yam fries with poblano cream, panko fried avocado, and warm beets topped with garlic chips and goat cheese. Up until that point I had never really been a fan of beets (they taste like the color green would if green had a flavor, and that weirds me out), but paired with creamy, tangy goat cheese? It was one of the most blissful combinations of foods I had ever had. That summer at my CSA the farmer had beets, arugula, and locally made goat cheese available one day at pick-up. Tossed together in a salad with maple-glazed walnuts (another addiction of mine at the time) and a balsamic-olive oil-orange juice dressing?

I could easily be seduced with a salad like this.

For National Walnut Day I knew this was exactly how I wanted to celebrate. However, when I make this particular dish I can't seem to make a "normal" portion. The bowl that's how housing my salad (as you can see in the picture above) is ENORMOUS. And I ate every bite.

Oh, happeh belleh!

Happy National Walnut Day!