I made a great salad last night: Spring farmer’s market greens, scallions and fresh parsley, crisp Mutsu apple, feta, and these nuts, all dressed with a simple vinaigrette. It was like the promise of Spring, which is a long time coming this year: we had a brief foray into temps in the 50’s yesterday (yippee!) but snow is back in the forecast for tomorrow. Oi.
Of course, I did not manage to take a picture of said great salad, nor the sweet corn chowder that I have yet to tell you about, or the ridiculously easy and incredibly delicious chocolate chipotle cake that I made for the first time for yesterday’s dinner. Ah, well; all in good time. I did, however, manage to photograph the sweet & spicy roasted nuts, for which you’ll thank me if you try out the recipe. Simple, quick, healthful, crunchy, spicy, sweet, salty, addictive: the best thing this side of bacon. You’re welcome.
Adapted from Honey-Roasted Walnuts in Homegrown: Pure and Simple by Michel Nischan
Maple Honey Roasted Nuts
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup raw sugar (organic turbinado)
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
- 2 cups raw, unsalted mixed nuts (I used walnuts, almonds and cashews)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup, honey, sugar, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and, stirring occasionally, cook until sugar dissolves. Add the nuts, stir to coat and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the nuts become fragrant.
- Prepare a baking sheet with a Silpat or wire rack. Place a colander over a heat-proof bowl. Drain nuts (reserve spiced honey for another use) and quickly, while still warm, spread over the baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool completely in the pan; nuts will crisp as they cool.
Yields about 2 cups.
- These are great as a snack, but also in a salad, in muffins or quickbread, with the honey they can be a wonderful glaze for a cake (coffee, pound or cheese). Packaged in a lovely jar, they make a nice hostess gift at the holidays or any time of year.
- Reserve the leftover spiced maple honey to stir into yogurt, sweeten a salad dressing, or add to mustard for instant honey-mustard glaze.
Store at room temperature, in an airtight container, for about 1 week. In hot weather, they can get very sticky, so refrigerator or freezer storage is recommended.