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Walnut Dinner at The Grange

October 28, 2010

As I mentioned yesterday, dinner the first night of the Walnut Harvest Festival was prepared for us by Chef Michael Tuohy of The Grange Restaurant in Sacramento. Chef Tuohy and his staff prepared dinner for us incorporating walnuts in every course. You may think this would lead to walnut overkill (if there is such a thing!), but when used imaginatively, walnuts can be part of a dish without you even realizing they’re there. Take a look at the delectable dinner we had:

First up we had a delicate endive salad with pears, pomegranate seeds, and a light coating of walnut vinaigrette.

endive salad with pears
Endive/Pear/Pomegranate Salad with Toasted Walnut Vinaigrette

Following the salad I had an amazing plate of sweet potato gnocchi topped with Chef Tuohy’s walnut pesto and a mixture of spinach and kale. The gnocchi were like little pillows — light and airy, leaving me with enough room for dessert.

sweet potato gnocchi
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Spinach and Walnut Pesto

I’m not normally a fan of whole nuts in my dessert (I’m not talking peanut butter and chocolate here), but the cranberry-walnut tart was so good I could barely put my fork down! The tart was served with a smooth orange sauce and a light dollop of crème fraiche with orange zest on top, which provided my palate with a wonderful assortment of flavors to end the evening.

cranberry walnut tart dessert
Cranberry-Walnut Tart with Crème Fraiche

This meal was just the first of a feast that was yet to come the following day!

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