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Monday, October 11, 2010

Reserve Your Local Hazelnuts Now

Norm Lehne's hazelnuts will be back from the dryer any day now.  It's not too late to get on the list and reserve some.  Give him a call at 541-672-2745.  He hasn't set the price yet, but two years ago I bought a 10 pound bag for $15 and after shelling them (you can run them through the cracker when you pick them up) they worked out to around $3.50 per pound--much less than what they cost at the grocery store.

I love chopped, toasted hazelnuts on winter salads and I have even made my own hazelnut butter (since peanuts don't grow here) and it's delicious.  Just toast the hazelnuts lightly in the oven until they become very fragrant and then whirl them in a food processor for several minutes.  I don't bother trying to rub the skins off.  The butter will still be a bit grainy, similar to almond butter or peanut butter made from Valencia peanuts.  Add sea salt to taste.  

If you store the hazelnut butter at room temperature the oil will rise to the top and you can drain some of it off to make a divine vinaigrette.

I have not been satisfied with my attempts at homemade Nutella, but I'll keep trying.

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