Sweet and Salted Almonds
This is one of those easy cocktail snack recipes that's always a hit at the party. Standing around at a gathering with a cocktail in hand and carrying on a conversation. You know what comes next. The awkward conversation when the person you're taking with whom you met maybe 10 minutes sooner won't give you a moment to insert a witty comment or, better yet, escape. Instead you keep reaching for that addictive bowl of nuts. Thank goodness for the almond bail out!
The first time I nibbled on something resembling these I was captivated by the crispy exterior and sweet and salty flavour. I kept noshing away at them until they vanished. Trust me, it doesn't take long. It's the perfect marriage between nuts and cocktails. One makes you thirsty and the other tempts to you to eat the nuts. Back and forth they go.
This is a simple process where you take natural almonds, unless of course you buy them blanched, soak them in boiling water, strain them, plunge them in cold water and slide the skins off. Pat dry the wet almonds and toss them in olive oil and roast for 20 minutes. The whole process takes barely half an hour. The results are delicious! Roasted almonds tossed with coarse sea salt, smoked paprika and a pinch of cinnamon. Prefer regular paprika, no problem. Sweet and salty love.
Next time you have to bring over a snack for a cocktail party or you're making tapas, include this recipe. One of the great joys is that it's super easy to prepare and can be made with ingredients around your house. Like I said, easy peasy.
Sweet and Salted Almonds
- 8 ounces of whole almonds, in skins or blanched
- 4 tbsp. good olive oil
- coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp. ground cumin or paprika
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If almonds are not blanched, place them in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water for 1 minute. Drain them in a strainer and then slide off the skins between your fingers. Dry on paper towels.
- Add olive oil to roasting pan and swirl to cover entire base. Add the almonds and toss in the pan until evenly coated. Spread in a single layer.
- Roast for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Toss several times during roasting. Drain to paper towels and transfer to a bowl. While still warm, sprinkle with plenty of salt and paprika and toss to coat. Add cinnamon and toss.
- Serve almonds warm or cold.