1. Soak the black walnuts in 2 cups of water overnight. Drain.
2. Add the soaked black walnuts, 6 tbsp water, lime juice, salt, and sugar to a blender. Blend until smooth and homogenous.
3. With the blender running on low, slowly drizzle in 2 tbsp of olive oil. If the mixture is too thick, thin with water. Adjust seasoning and acidity with salt and lime as needed.
For many, the strong earthy-smokey-bitter flavors of black walnuts can be overpowering and challenging to cook with. We find it best to temper their flavor with a little acidity and sweetness – and what better way than to make a creamy condiment with a thousand uses? Try this crema drizzled on slaws, nachos, roasted root veggies, and animal proteins – it will add layers of savory smokiness without overpowering the rest of the dish.
If you’re in a hurry, you can make this recipe without soaking overnight, but be prepared for some texture in the end result. If you want to achieve smooth, drippable creamy bounciness, you’ll need to soak the nuts. And a note on that: don’t use the soaking liquid as the water when you blend the crema – it will bring out too many bitter notes in the end product.