There’s nothing quite like roasting almonds or walnuts for creating atmosphere; they instantly invoke the sense that the kitchen is being cooked in, and give the room a wonderful, slightly caramel smell.
Whenever I’m feeling hungry for a little bite of something savory, or when I know friends are coming for dinner, I like to make a batch of roasted nuts tossed with herbs and sea salt. Guests instantly gravitate toward that plate: Perfectly toasted nuts are irresistible.
Likewise, there’s hardly a better way to end a meal than with a plate of nut-packed dark chocolate bark, candied citrus peel, and dates stuffed with almond paste. It’s their sheer versatility that makes nuts such an indispensable ingredient in my pantry.
They can be used in hundreds of ways and are equally delicious in all kinds of savory and sweet preparations – not to mention, they are incredibly good for you.
Slow-Roasted Nuts with Sage Leaves
Makes about 3½ cups
Roasting a mixture of at a low temperature is a wonderful method. At high temperatures, some kinds of nuts in the mixture may burn, but they won’t if roasted with the others at a low temperature. The delightfully crisped sage leaves are as satisfying as the roasted nuts themselves.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 1½ cups loosely packed sage leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the nuts and sage leaves. Add the oil and salt and toss gently until the nuts and sage are evenly coated.
3. Spread the nuts and sage on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Stir the nuts and return them to the oven for 10 more minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and break a few nuts open. If their centers are golden brown they are done; if the nuts still need more time, stir them and return them to the oven, checking every 5 minutes or so.
You want them to roast fully, not burn. I usually find 35 minutes is about right.
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