Earlier today I got a text from a good friend in town for the weekend–she proposed an FAC up at the winery she co-owns. I asked if I could bring a snack. She agreed as long as I didn’t go to any fuss.
I remembered a recipe for spiced nuts I’d seen in a magazine recently; one from Ina Garten, a favorite of mine. (I love watching the Barefoot Contessa–love her kitchen, her garden, her way of making gourmet approachable.)
Ina’s recipe is for cashews, but I have walnuts. Lots of walnuts. Walnuts I bought thinking I’d make piles and piles of pesto from the piles and piles of parsley I had. I ran out of oomph before I ran out of parsley…or walnuts. I also happened to have the other ingredients I needed; I bet you do too!
- 4 cups walnuts
- 2 TBSP coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 TBSP butter, melted
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 375F.
Place walnuts on an edged baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. You’ll start to smell them around 5 minutes–watch them carefully from then on.
Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine rosemary, butter, sugar, salt, and cayenne,
until well combined.
Add hot walnuts to the bowl and toss until well combined. Garnish with a rosemary sprig. Serve warm…you’ll be so, so glad you did.
The warmth brings out the aromatic oils of the rosemary. I found the warm-herbal-spicy-crunchy-yumminess of these nuts paired really well with the herbally undertones of Reeder Mesa’s Cabernet Sauvignon. Another friend preferred the crisp acidity of Reeder Mesa’s Riesling as a pairing.
Whatever you pair with these roasted nuts, I have to warn you…They. Are. Addictive. Really. As yummy as they are, they are no fuss.
As we all sipped and crunched, we thought all sorts of nuts that would be enhanced by this spice combo….mmmmm! Which nuts will you use? Maybe you’ll use them to top a salad? Or a crunchy topping for a smooth butternut squash soup? ???
As you ponder the possibilities, enjoy this November sunset, taken from the deck at Reeder Mesa Winery tonight. Ahhhhh…..