It’s pretty well the end of the macadamia season. They last in shell for several months more, but fresh ones are so much better. We have several macadamia trees and I use a lot of them. My maca cracker is one of the few kitchen tools allowed to live on my kitchen bench! Having a tool that makes the hard hard shells easy to crack turns them from something you’d only go to the bother with for a special recipe, to something I regularly add to breakfast crumble topping for fruit and yoghurt, or cook with. Most people don’t put fresh nuts on the routine shopping list, but they are really good for you – there’s some very good science that just a handful of nuts a day makes a huge difference. Macas substitute really well for pine nuts in recipes, which is a good thing for me because I don’t have any pine nut trees and they are fearsomely expensive.
The other inspiration for this is that our olives are ready for eating. We have a dozen huge jars which feels very decadent. Back in midwinter I drained off the brine and covered them with olive oil. We’ve been eating them since and they’re getting better and better. Trouble is, I’m not a huge fan of green olives. The black ones go into antipasti or salads as they are, or marinated in preserved lemon, garlic and herbs. But the green ones need a bit of tarting up.
- Deseed 200 grams of olives, which will yield about ¾ cup of olive flesh.
- Toast about half a cup of macadamia kernels, roughly chopped, in a heavy pan for just a few minutes till they start to colour.
- Blend with
- the juice and finely grated rind from ¼ lemon,
- a dessertspoon of capers,
- an anchovy (or not),
- and enough olive oil to make a good texture
It goes really well with the sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes. Sometimes I roughly chop them into the tapenade itself, or serve them on top of it or on the side.