Monthly Feature: Walnuts

21 Nov

Photo Courtesy of Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

From October to June 2011, uncanny will feature one ingredient and an accompanying discounted preserve and a recipe to help get us through the long, cold months of winter.

First in our series of specials was cranberries and next up is walnuts. One of the characteristic signs of the approaching holidays are bins of walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts and more at the grocery store. Of all the nuts, walnuts are my personal favourite. They’re meaty, earthy, hearty and pair wonderfully with almost all fall fruits and vegetables.

For this month’s savings, uncanny has an incredible jar of Sour Cherry Walnut Conserve at 15% off.  This hearty conserve is chock full of walnuts, chunky sour cherries and a splash of kirsch to draw it together; it’s totally indulgent and perfect for a cold winter morning when you need that little extra luxury. Can you imagine coming in from a morning spent shoveling the drive-way and greeted with a steaming mug of coffee and this conserve spooned over a croissant? Doesn’t get much better than this.

Walnuts are not only delicious in a conserve, but equally at home being the star of the show. Holiday entertaining can be quick and easy by having some candied walnuts on hand to throw in a pretty dish and set out for guests to enjoy. Here’s a recipe I tried last year with walnuts and loved the results. The combination of Indian spices and a touch of sweetness made them so delicious and totally addicting. If you’re looking for something quick and easy, try these from Canadian Living:

Ingredients

    3 cups unsalted walnuts (or cashews, as the original recipe uses)
    3 tbsp  brown sugar
    2 tsp  sea salt or pickling salt
    2 tsp curry powder
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/4 cup water
    1 tbsp butter, melted

Preparation:

On parchment paper-lined or greased rimmed baking sheet, toast cashews in 350°F (180°C) oven until fragrant and golden, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the sugar, salt, curry powder and cumin; set aside.

In saucepan, bring water, remaining brown sugar and butter to boil, stirring constantly. Add cashews, stirring to coat; simmer until no liquid remains, about 3 minutes. Add to spice mixture; toss to coat well.

Spread nuts on same baking sheet; roast until coating is dry and slightly golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool on pan on rack. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

Enjoy!

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