Maple Brandied Apple Roasted Honeynut Squash with Spiced Candied Walnuts
Honeynut squash is relatively new on the block. The child of a strategic union between the buttercup and butternut squash, honeynut was first bred in the 1980s. However, the little squash didn’t make it to farmers markets and produce isles until fairly recently when Dan Barber challenged grower Michael Mazourek to “build a better butternut squash.” The result was Row7’s 898 experimental squash – or honeynut – a sweeter and deeper cousin of the butternut with an intensely butternutty butternut flavor. Here, that compact flavor explosion is glazed with the flavors of fall: apples, roasted chestnuts, maple syrup and deep fermented garlic funk. Topped with spiced candied walnuts and eaten with a spoon while still warm, the little squash melts in your mouth and tastes like a sweet potato casserole: fantasy edition.
For the glaze
2 tbs Brandied Apple Spread
1 tsp The Deep Fermented Black Garlic Concentrate
2 tsp Maple syrup
½ tsp Soy sauce
Chili flakes and cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°. Half and de-seed the honeynut squash, scooping out any remaining seed tendrils. Combine all the glaze ingredients and mix well to combine. Reserve half the glaze mixture in a bowl for later. Using a pastry brush, coat the interior of the squash with the remaining half of the glaze. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 425° for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.
For the spiced candied walnuts
3 tbs Maple syrup
¼ tsp Kosher salt
1 cup Rough chopped walnuts
While the squash bakes, add the maple syrup and salt to the reserved glaze mixture. Toast the walnuts in a dry pan gently until they become warm and aromatic (about 2 minutes). Add the maple mixture, stirring consistently, and cook until the sugar starts to bubble and caramelize (about 3 minutes). Place the walnuts on a sheet of parchment to cool.
When the squash is done baking, top with candied walnuts, a few good turns of pepper and a sprinkle of flaky salt to serve.