In my opinion, roasting your own nuts is infinitely preferable to opening a can of salted peanuts to offer with cocktails (and BTW peanuts aren’t a nut, they’re a legume)…especially as roasting your own take so little time and yields a far superior result.
Having said that, I’ve spent considerable time plowing through countless recipes for roasted nuts; some required heart-stopping quantities of salt, others suggested a baking time/temp that was totally off.
Consequently, I’ve dumped bowlfuls of charred and inedible nuts – wasteful but well worth it if I can present you with some recipes that actually work…. aren’t you glad I saved you all the bother and expense?
Here are 4 recipes to add to your repertoire of ‘Nibbly Bits’; two are for nuts roasted with rosemary (one being considerably healthier than the other but both taste great); one is for an unusual spiced candied pecan and one for Indian spiced almonds.
All of these deliciously more-ish roasted nuts will last up to 10 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
ROSEMARY ROASTED WALNUTS – (Healthier version)
3 cups of walnut halves – or mixed nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans
2 tablespoons of extra-v olive oil
2 tablespoons of minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons of soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350°F/180C and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until they’re golden, about 10-12 minutes, stirring at least twice.
Cool on the baking sheet, transfer to a bowl and serve.
And now for the…
ROSEMARY ROASTED WALNUTS – (Naughty version)
2 cups of walnut halves, or mixed nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans
4 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup of packed soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. In a shallow roasting pan, dry roast the nuts until they’re golden, 10 -12 minutes.
Line another baking sheet with parchment or foil and set it aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter, sugar and rosemary over medium heat in a wide pan. Add the roasted nuts and stir until the butter mixture is golden brown, approx 3 to 5 minutes.
Spread the nuts on the parchment-lined baking sheet and season with salt to taste. Cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally for about 15 minutes.
Now here’s a recipe for nuts that bite back…
2 cups of pecan halves
¼ cup of vegetable oil (such as grape-seed oil which is great for cooking at high temps)
1 tablespoon of Chimayo (medium hot) chili powder (increase or reduce to taste)
3 tablespoons of espresso or strong dark coffee
2 tablespoons of sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and spread out in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, give them a good stir and if necessary, bake for 2 more until they’re fragrant. Cool on the baking sheet (These are also great served on a bed of mixed salad leaves).
INDIAN SPICED ALMONDS
2 cups of whole almonds
2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of curry powder
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of cayenne (increase or decrease to taste)
Preheat the oven to 300F/150C. Combine all the ingredients together and spread in one layer in a shallow baking pan – roast for 18-20 minutes – stir once and roast for another 5 minutes until golden.
Cool in the pan.