This is an addictive, savoury spread that my friend Stephanie Kaplan, a fellow ND based in Portland, created on a visit to my place. We had last cooked together in Tuscany the summer before. When she whipped up this spread in my Vancouver kitchen, it brought back the rich flavours and tasty memories of Italy! The spread features a satisfying combination of tangy sundried tomatoes, garlic, earthy walnuts, parmesan cheese, and a hint of thyme. A simply divine spread on crusty bread or hearty crackers.
Walnuts have the highest volume of Omega-3 fats of any nut. Their anti-inflammatory fats are essential for making healthy cell membranes and keeping skin moisturized. Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant, which assists in the production of collagen, key for skin’s elasticity and healing. Tomatoes also happen to contain all the carotenoids and a good dose of lycopene, providing protection against sun damage and wrinkling.
2 cups walnuts
2 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp sundried tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated finely
1-2 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Toast walnuts in a dry heavy skillet for 1-2 minutes, or in the oven at 375°F for 5-10 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant.
2. In a food processor, first purée garlic, then add walnuts, and process for a few seconds until crumb-like.
3. Pull thyme leaves off stem and set aside.
4. Add thyme, parmesan, salt, pepper, and oil, and process until uniformly mixed but not puréed. It’s best if you process just to the point of a chunky texture. Add more olive oil as needed until a spreadable consistency is reached.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Stir in cilantro and enjoy!