A large, deciduous tree in the hickory family, the black walnut is a hardy, nut-bearing tree. Black walnuts can be prepared in several ways, from powders and oils to meat dishes and desserts. Preparing black walnuts involves a little bit of work, but will bring out the strong, nutty flavor of the black walnuts. A lengthy process that involves harvesting and curing, preparing black walnuts will introduce fresh new flavors and botanical extracts to a many cooking applications.
Crack the shells of the harvested black walnuts with a hammer. Do this on a protected surface outdoors, as the flying debris contains black pigment that will permanently stain porous surfaces.
Gather all of the black walnuts from the cracked husks and place them into the metal strainer.
Rinse the nuts through the strainer with a garden hose or in a stainless steel kitchen sink. Do this for at least five minutes to thoroughly rinse away the pigment from the inner side of the husks. The inner nut sometimes gets covered in this pigment as well.
Place the nuts in a burlap sack after the moisture has been drained from the strainer. Roll the sack shut and use a clothing peg to pin it closed.
Place the burlap sack in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or outbuilding. Let them sit in the sack for about two weeks to cure them. Curing the walnuts deepens their flavors.