The pickled green walnuts are made from the unripe fruit and must be prepared before the shell has formed. In some English circles they are known as the King of Pickles. Pickled walnuts are excellent with all cold meats and cheeses.
- About 50 to 60 green, unripe walnuts
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 gallon water
- 2 quarts cider or malt vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cracked allspice berries
- 1 ounce ginger, about 1 1/2-inch pieces, smashed
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Dissolve the salt in the water to make a brine. Put on some rubber gloves if you have them, because walnut juice will stain your hands for weeks — and it won’t come off. Trust me on this one. Properly gloved, stab each walnut with a fork in several places; this helps the brine penetrate. Submerge the walnuts in the brine and let them ferment for 8 days at room temperature.
- Remove the walnuts and put them on a baking sheet and leave them outside in the sun for a day, until they turn uniformly black. You can do this step without gloves if you want.
- Pack the walnuts into quart jars. Bring the remaining ingredients to a boil and pour over the walnuts. Leave very little headspace in the jars. Seal and keep in a cool place, either the fridge or a basement — you just want them to rest below 70°F — for at least a month before you eat them. Kept this way they will last a year.