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TAFE BUDS: Sara performs a 'nutcracker sweet'

TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga

TAFE BUDS: Sara performs a 'nutcracker sweet'

NUTS TO YOU!: TAFE NSW cooking guru Sara Morley with ABC Riverina presenter Sally Bryant.


10 October, 2019

TAFE NSW cooking connoisseur Sara Morley has a simple yet powerful philosophy: if life gives you nuts, then be a nutcracker.

For this week’s TAFE Buds segment on ABC Riverina, Sara upped her standard nut game to “nutcracker sweet”, using toffee walnuts as the centrepiece of a delectable Spring Farro Salad (see recipe below).

The locally sourced walnuts, infused with honey, cinnamon and butter, create a flavoursome contrast to the other salad ingredients, which include the ancient grain Farro, lemon juice, blue cheese, asparagus and herbs.

Unique, delicious and utterly guilt free, this is a dish you can definitely “go nuts” for.

If you’d like to sharpen your kitchen skills or consider a career in cooking, there are a smorgasbord of courses available at TAFE NSW. For more information, visit


Toffee Cinnamon Walnuts


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 150g Walnuts


Melt butter over medium heat in medium sized frypan.

Add the honey and cinnamon and mix together, then add the nuts.

Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often until coated, toasted and golden.

Carefully pour nuts onto the lined baking sheet and separate the nuts using a fork.

Cool, then store in an airtight container.


Spring Farro Salad


  • 2 cups roasted Farro (or other ancient grain)
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil (walnut or olive)
  • 100g blue cheese (or goats cheese), crumbled
  • 1 bunch asparagus (or green beans)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or chopped shallots (or other herb)
  • 1 cup toffee walnuts (or other nuts)
  • Salt and pepper


Bring large pot of water to the boil. Salt generously.

Add the Farro, cover, and simmer gently, usually about 45 minutes or according to packet directions, or until al dente. Drain.

Spread the grains on a large baking sheet, zest the lemons over the grains and stir to combine and set aside to cool.

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium fry pan over medium high heat and cook the asparagus until just tender — about 2 minutes. Cool and slice into pieces.

Toss the cooled grains with the asparagus in a large bowl. Add the walnuts, parsley and crumbled cheese.

Whisk the lemon juice with the walnut oil.  Pour over the grain salad just prior to serving and toss, season to taste.