We followed the recipe precisely. Six weeks later we thought they should be pickled enough to sample. Although the recipe does not state, the green outer husk of the nut should be pared away before they are eaten. The pickled walnuts tasted strong and vinegary, not like ordinary cucumber pickles. During a historic cooking demonstration later that fall, we passed around a plate of pickled walnuts. Everbody in the audience daringly sampled a nut--most made wry faces, a few coughed, and some said they liked them.


  • Walnuts
  • Strong Brine
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Whole cloves
  • Black peppercorns
  • Allspice
  • Mace


Gather them when soft enough to be pierced with a pin. Lay them in strong brine for five days changing this twice in the meantime.Drain and wipe dry; pierce each by running a large darning needle through it, lay them in cold water for six hours. To each gallon of vinegar allow one cup of sugar, three dozen each of whole cloves and black peppercorns, half as much allspice and a dozen blades of mace. Boil five minutes; pack the nuts in small jars and cover with the scalding vinegar.

Repeat this twice within a week; tie up and set away. Good to eat in a month. (Detroit 1881 The concept of pickling walnuts or butternuts (an elongated cousin to the walnut) has fascinated us for many years. But we never remembered to harvest unripe walnuts until too late--that is, until late July 1988. It took a long stick and plenty of energy to get enough black walnuts, 1/2 inch in diameter, for our experiment.

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Submitted 6/13/05.
Source: Walnut Pickles and Watermelon Cake
Submitted By: Linda Wilson
Pickled Butternuts or Walnuts