Winter squash

It's high time for winter squash, and there's a cornucopia of eye-catching varieties to choose from. (Andre J. Jackson/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Glazed walnuts:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Peel the squash and remove and discard the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the squash chunks on the baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the butter and five-spice powder. Cook over moderate heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is bubbling, about 4 minutes. Pour the mixture over the squash pieces and stir to coat. Season with salt. Bake for about 10 minutes, basting a few times, until the squash pieces are tender and glazed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and butter and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until a light caramel forms, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the baking soda and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the walnuts. Quickly spread the toffee on the prepared baking sheet as thinly as possible. Cool completely and then break into pieces.

Sprinkle the walnut toffee over the squash and serve.

Adapted from Food & Wine magazine, November 2009 issue.

Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

Nutrition information:
342 calories (42 percent from fat ), 16 grams fat (7 grams sat. fat ), 52 grams carbohydrates , 3 grams protein , 114 mg sodium , 25 mg cholesterol , 1 gram fiber.


Susan M. Selasky writes for The Detroit Free Press

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