Recipe: Strawberry, Lemon and Walnut Balls

Just a quick post today – I have a whole bunch of things in the works to write about, but I somehow wound up spending a lot of the afternoon making the aforementioned elaborate pasta bake for friends who are coming to dinner this evening and have no idea of the overcatering in store for them (and these are friends who have been at my Shakespeare Feasts, I might add).  Since they will be arriving pretty shortly, and I still need to make the orange and fennel salad and the olive toasts and the balsamic strawberries, and also to clear the table, today is clearly the day for more raw truffles.

I made these raw truffles for Rhiannon and Reed’s recent wedding.  They were actually a last-minute, made-up-on-the-spot recipe, after a different one failed dismally, so I don’t really know for sure what I put into them.  It was all a bit of a haze.  They were rather imperfect – walnuts do seem to release a lot of oil in my food processor – but very popular, and I was asked for the recipe.  This is my best-guess reconstruction, still imperfect, but nonetheless tasty.

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100 g walnuts
zest of one lemon, and a teaspoon or two of juice
100 g dried strawberries, preferably reasonably fresh ones, because if they are too dessicated they will never stick together
a tablespoon of agave nectar or honey (may not be needed, depending on the stickiness of strawberries)

Now what will you do with it?

Basically, stick it in a food processor.

Well, alright, what I really did was put the walnuts and lemon zest in for half a minute or so, to get the walnuts nicely crumbed, and then added the strawberries until they were well-chopped.  I then added a bit of agave nectar and a bit of lemon juice while the processor was running, until the whole thing started coming together in a ball.

That’s it!  You will now have a sort of strawberry dough, which you can roll out and cut into shapes, or just roll into balls, truffle-style.  You’ll get about 15 balls out of this mixture.

It doesn’t actually have the texture of biscuit dough, but there are similarities.

I definitely recommend rolling everything in paper towels, to reduce the walnut-oiliness (hey, I said this was imperfect).  Another thing you can do is add a handful of rolled oats with the walnuts at the start, which absorb some of the oil.

I have a feeling that I have just made these sound totally disgusting.  Actually, they are really lovely, I promise – zesty and fruity, with the walnut just providing a dark background note (says she, pretentiously, but it does, rather).  And fairly good for you, in the energy-snack department.


I have made so many of these raw truffles that I’m just tempted to send you to my sweetmeats page (only I really should update it before I do that… which is a task for another day…).  You can switch the nuts with any other nut you like the sound of, and you could use a different zest, a different dried berry, a different anything you like. These are very forgiving.

A nut-free version might use cacao nibs to replace the walnuts, though that would pack quite a punch, I think, and I’d be inclined to go half cacao, half oats, even though this would render the whole thing a lot less gluten-free…

If there were a competition for ugly food, this photo would score quite high…


This time last year…

Eating out: Saba’s Lebanese Restaurant
Farmers’ Market – Spring has Sprung
Farmers’ Market Dinner
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3 comments for “Recipe: Strawberry, Lemon and Walnut Balls

  1. September 13, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Oooh how lovely! Dried strawberries, very fancypants! 🙂

    • September 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      I have this lovely local shop full of dried and glacé fruit, as well as nuts and spices and legumes…

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