I had a really creative dish at a local restaurant that was radishes that where dipped in butter and then rolled in hazelnuts that looked like dirt. Obviously it wasn't dirt but hazelnuts that had been ground up and then cooked some way to make it look like dirt.

Any ideas on how to replicate this?

Here is a pic

BlueHour radishes in hazelnut soil

  • Very Heston Blumenthal, he's done something very similar on a couple of his shows, it may be worth having look to see what's on video on the web.
    – GdD
    May 4, 2017 at 7:22

4 Answers 4


Dry roast the nuts in a pan or skillet until golden, keep them moving at all times. Let them cool completely on a paper towel. Grind them to the right particle size you need. Spread them thinly and evenly on an oven tray and bake at somewhere around 140-160C. You will likely end up with some parts a little burnt. Or do whole nuts in a coffee roaster.

  • I'll give this a try, this is along the lines of what I thought the process would be. I saw a video where Heston Blumental makes tiramisu in flower pots and created some soil using different ingredients (graham crackers and chocolate)
    – haakon.io
    May 3, 2017 at 18:41
  • 2
    The baking part probably should be at as close to around 140-145C as possible, enough for Maillard browning but not to let it run away. The reaction I believe is exothermic, gives out heat and tends to accelerate as it happens.
    – user110084
    May 3, 2017 at 18:50

I've tried with pumpernickel bread and had good result.

I toasted the bread to give it a more black color (and flavor), and also added some finely chopped black olive and some crushed sunflower seeds.

You'd get the same result (different taste) by using roasted nuts.

  • Thanks @Max - This could be a good option if I didn't have a big bag of local Hazelnuts that I'm trying to incorporate into my menu ;-)
    – haakon.io
    May 3, 2017 at 18:42

I ended up putting about a 1/3 cup of unsalted whole roasted Hazelnuts in a food processor and ground them up fine. Then I toasted them in a small frying pan stirring constantly until golden. Then I put them in a 9x9 baking pan in the oven for about 15 minutes at 300 degrees.

The result:

Hazelnut soul

  • This is great! Much easier and better than what I proposed.
    – user110084
    May 6, 2017 at 9:40

Crush the nuts first (for more surface area) and then dry toast them on a barely oiled cookie sheet. {jelly roll pan, actually}

I use a toaster oven for small batches (stirring them once or twice), since a handful of roasted/toasted nuts is often all I need. WATCH them carefully while toasting; burning yummy ingredients is a major sad! :-(

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