Imagine chatting with your friends after you cook this one up: “What did you make for dinner tonight?” “Oh, I candied walnuts and made a butter with them.” Your buddies will be impressed, jealous, and inviting themselves over to your place to see you work your magic. But it's no magic! Or maybe it is… how else can the roasted squash sprinkled with Parmesan be so delectable? Or those pork chops be so succulent? Forget your friends; keep this mystery for yourself.
Carefully cut acorn squash in half from pole to pole. Use a spoon to scoop out strings and seeds. Cut halves into ½" slices.
Coarsely chop walnuts.
Stem and mince parsley.
Pat pork chops dry, and season both sides with ½ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.
Roast the Squash
Place acorn squash slices on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tsp. olive oil and season with ½ tsp. salt. Massage oil into squash and spread into a single layer.
Sprinkle squash with Parmesan and roast in hot oven until tender and lightly browned, 18-23 minutes.
Sprinkle roasted acorn squash with cracked black pepper.
While squash roasts, make candied walnuts.
Make the Candied Walnuts
Place a small non-stick pan over medium heat.
Add sugar and 2 Tbsp. water to hot pan and stir until dissolved.
Add walnuts and stir constantly until water has evaporated and walnuts are shiny and sticky, 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to a plate or cutting board and cool, 5 minutes.
When walnuts are cool enough to handle, break into small pieces.
Cook the Pork Chops
Place a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
Add 1 tsp. olive oil and pork chops to hot pan. Cook until golden brown and chops reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 5-7 minutes per side.
Remove pork chops to a plate and rest at least 5 minutes.
Make the Candied Walnut Butter
In a mixing bowl, stir softened butter, candied walnuts, and half the parsley (reserve remaining for garnish) until well-combined.
Plate dish as pictured on front of card, topping pork chop with butter and garnishing acorn squash with remaining parsley. Bon appétit!