Candied Spicy Walnuts

These walnuts add an unusual element to the Gorgonzola and Radicchio sandwich served at Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles.

  • Yield: Makes 2 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2003


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces walnut halves (2 cups)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, wash down the sides of the pan to remove any undissolved sugar granules.

  2. Add walnuts, and reduce the heat to medium-high. Simmer until the syrup is reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. The nuts will be very sticky. Use a slotted spoon to remove half of the nuts to a colander to drain, leaving the other half in the syrup. Reduce the heat to low.

  3. Meanwhile, fill a medium stockpot with 2 inches of oil. Heat oil to 350 degrees over medium heat. Carefully add the drained nuts, and fry, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer nuts to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, and let stand until cool. Repeat with remaining nuts. Will keep, stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for about 2 days.

Cook's Notes

Note: This recipe has been adapted from "Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book: The Best Sandwiches Ever: From Thursday Nights at Campanile," by Nancy Silverton with Teri Gelber.


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