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Verses from my Kitchen: Sweet and Salted Almonds

December 31, 2010

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.

The brilliant crunch from the crisp exterior with the spices smothering each almond and the salt popping through. Great texture, great taste. Great snack.

Happy New Years! I appreciate all your support. Thanks for reading!

Sweet and Salted Almonds

The Goods:
  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve almonds warm or cold.

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At December 31, 2010 at 6:29 PM , Blogger Rosemary said...

I like this one as I love almonds,looking forwrad to trying them

At January 1, 2011 at 7:38 AM , Blogger Carolyn said...

I am glad to see that this recipe doesn't contain sugar, so it's perfect for me! I eat nuts almost constantly and i get tired of the plain ones so this is definitely a hit.

At January 1, 2011 at 9:12 AM , Blogger Annie said...

I really like this one! They sound really tasty with simple ingredients and best of all easy to make! Have a happy new year!

At January 1, 2011 at 9:49 AM , Blogger Diethood.com said...

I like it! I have uncracked almonds sitting on my kitchen table - I could really do this and enjoy them on this new year day! Thanks for sharing!

At January 2, 2011 at 12:23 PM , OpenID thespicegarden said...

Yay! Beer nuts! Just in time for the Patriots game! Thanks!

At January 2, 2011 at 3:18 PM , Blogger Quail said...

I have been going a bit...nuts...with nuts at parties lately and was keen to try something a bit different rather than just roasting them with salt. So thanks for posting this idea!

At January 2, 2011 at 4:00 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Carolyn, I hope you like it. Thanks!

Annie, sooo easy to make! Enjoy!

DH, I always have nuts sitting around as well so it's great to experiment with them.

TSG, i'm with you on the nuts and the Pats!

Quail, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!

At January 4, 2011 at 8:05 AM , Blogger Peggy said...

Those almonds are gorgeous! Definitely love the spice combination! They will be seeing my snack bin very soon!

At March 24, 2011 at 1:47 PM , Blogger cajunlicious said...

Thanks for sharing! This will make a great snack addition.


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