Hazelnut Grits

Recipe: Farm Spirit | Photo: John Valls
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Yield: Makes 2-4 servings

With a passion for local, fresh ingredients, Farm Spirit celebrates the uniqueness of foods, farmers and creators within the Cascadia region of Oregon. Each dish on the plant-based menu has a colorful story on and off the plate, and all the produce is sourced within 105 miles. Taste the flavor of Oregon’s state nut in chef Kei Ohdera’s Hazelnut Grits.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 pint whole raw Oregon hazelnuts
  • 2 small onions, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and White pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring water to just a boil then reduce heat to medium-low until water is simmering. Add baking soda first, then hazelnuts. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the skins have softened. Drain hazelnuts and remove skins*. Pulse the hazelnuts several times in a food processor until finely chopped (approximately the size of a grain of rice). Set aside.

Finely mince one onion and set aside.

Take the second onion and slice evenly. Heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions to a saucepan and reduce heat to low. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. Add water and bring to a simmer. Whisk in cornstarch slurry and cook for 1-2 minutes. Using an immersion blender, slowly pour in 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil and blend until smooth. Pour mixture through sieve to remove any chunks and set aside.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil to a separate pan and cook over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add minced onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add finely chopped hazelnuts and onion-cornstarch mixture. Stirring continuously and cook until thickened and the mixture resembles the consistency of grits.

This recipe is easily customized by adding toppings. At Farm Spirit, we add fried shallots and herbs such as cilantro and parsley.

* To remove skins, rub hazelnuts vigorously with a clean dish towel.