I love hazelnut picada! It’s one of those amazing subtle condiments that basically goes on anything. The hazelnuts are (of course) nutty, while the parsley is green and herbaceous, and the bread crumbs add a bit of body and crunch.
Not surprisingly, my favorite use for hazelnut picada is as a finishing ingredient on top of just about any pizza! It hefts up the pizza while adding extra flavor and texture. But this simple recipe also also works amazingly with meat, seafood, roasted vegetables… the possibilities are just about endless. My next plan is to try putting a layer of it on top of a warm whipped goat cheese and honey spread for toasted baguette slices.
Because hazelnut picada can deteriorate in quality pretty quickly, I recommend making it fresh each time you need it. You could absolutely refrigerate it and use it the next day in the sense that it wouldn’t go bad, but the parsley loses its brightness and the bread crumbs absorb moisture, which negatively affects the texture. It’s so quick and easy to make that really there’s no reason to try to make extra and store it for later.
Note: this makes a very simple, straightforward, dry picada. Play with it to achieve different flavors and consistencies. Try adding lemon zest, olive oil, and/or sherry vinegar, for example. Or switch out the parsley for cilantro, mint, or basil. Or process it longer to achieve a finer texture, or leave it in larger chunks.
- ⅓ cup hazelnuts
- ⅔ cup croutons or completely dry bread pieces*
- ¼ cup tightly packed parsley
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Finely mince the 1/4 cup of parsley.
- Toast the 1/3 cup of hazelnuts in a dry pan for two to three minutes. Transfer onto a clean kitchen towel and rub in the towel to remove the skins. (It’s okay if some skins remain on!)
- Put the hazelnuts in a mortar and pestle, and process until the pieces are just slightly larger than you want in your finished picada.
- Add the 2/3 cup of croutons and minced parsley to the mortar and pestle. Mix, then process further until the picada reaches your desired texture. Mix in the 1/4 teaspoon of salt, taste, and adjust if necessary.