Balsamic Maple Walnuts

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It’s time for a little image-tribute to the last days of summer and the radiant color of its bounty.  These are two photos from my friend David Cavagnaro of Pepperfield Project.  I never tire of looking at his pictures.  He photographs using only natural light, calling himself “stubbornly anti-technological” but the results are brilliant.




“We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.”


~E.B. White 







These walnuts are tasty nuggets on salads, over ice cream, or in the palm of your hand.  Earlier this year I served them in a salad with arugula, radishes, bacon and a lemon dill dijon vinaigrette.  Their tangy-sweetness paired especially well with the peppery arugula and the salt of the bacon.

At the Loring Café we used to make a maple syrup-cider vinegar reduction mixed with pecans drizzled over a cornmeal-crusted walleye fillet, I could imagine these walnuts sprinkled on a mild fish.


I kept these buddies very basic to highlight two of the most flavorful liquids around, but you could try other seasonings for fun:

  • Cayenne
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Dried Lavender Flowers
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom







Balsamic Maple Walnuts

Prep Time: 15 minutes


Toast for 3-4 minutes in the oven–be careful, they burn easily:

3 cups walnuts

Melt on low heat in a heavy pot:

1/2 cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

When it’s a medium tan color, stir in the walnuts. 

When the balsamic-sugar is evenly coating the walnuts, spread them out on a cookie sheet.

Sprinkle with:

Kosher Salt

Bake another 3-4 minutes, then remove and let cool.



I found this on one of these brilliant September days.






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