Isn’t it amazing how fast the year has gone? It is time for the December Recipe Redux! This month we’re playing a little party game. We were instructed to reach for the nearest cookbook and redux the recipe on page 201, 16, 216 – or any combination of the number ‘2016.’ So fun! I chose “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters. On page 216 I found the recipe, Roasted Almonds with Herbs. It is in the delightful chapter, A Little Something…., which is filled with terrific small meals, snacks, or appetizers. The ideas are simple and quick, easy and nutritious and perfect for entertaining and even gifting.
From warm olives to eggplant caviar there were some great reminders of simple dishes I love and also some that I need to make ASAP such as marinated chard and fresh pickled vegetables. Although I have made spiced nuts many times before, I particularly liked the method in this recipe. In this recipe the salt is dissolved into the liquid and really enhances the flavour. The herbs are added and then the almonds are roasted for 15-20 minutes. Quick and simple!
It is very easy to adjust the flavours to your liking. The original recipe uses thyme and winter savoury but you can add anything you like. I particularly like rosemary with lemon, orange or grapefruit. Spices work well too like curry, cumin, smoked paprika, chili, cocoa or maple.
Alice Waters is the owner of Chez Panisse, a restaurant in Berkeley, California that is best known for locally grown, organic ingredients. She has the culinary philosophy that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients and I wholeheartedly agree. She has many excellent cookbooks and has won many awards.
Citrus Rosemary Roasted Almonds
Makes 1 cup
1 cup almonds
2 tablespoons fresh orange or grapefruit juice
zest of 1 grapefruit or 1 large orange
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (measure it after mincing)
2 teaspoons olive oil
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Squeeze juice from an orange or grapefruit and measure into a medium size bowl. Add salt and stir to dissolve. Add fresh rosemary, olive oil and almonds. Stir to coat almonds. Add zest and toss. Transfer to cast iron pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely. The almonds will be chewy when still warm but become wonderfully crunchy when cool. Package in a air tight container to keep them fresh.