Roasted Rosemary and Almonds

December through January is a crescendo of seasonal celebration. It’s a time for merrymaking and indulgence. No matter how you choose to celebrate the season, feasting is almost certainly involved.

In my household, I am the designated master of ceremony and as such, I’m always looking for ways to keep the masses at bay whilst preparing the feast.

One of my favorite ways to accomplish this task is to set out a generous charcuterie and cheese board to keep everyone satisfied and distracted. The holidays are stressful enough, there is no reason to subject yourself to a house full of “hangry” friends and family.

Charcuterie and cheese boards are not only great as a first course for December gatherings, but are excellent as the main event for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

There are many attributes of a good charcuterie and cheese board, not least of which is the fact that you can rely heavily on pre-made items from local culinary artisans while adding a few quick, personal touches.

Roasted Rosemary and Almonds are one of my favorite “go to” recipes for charcuterie and cheese boards as well as a tasty, anytime snack for noshing.

Do not underestimate the deliciousness of this recipe. Despite the simplicity of the ingredients and the technique, the flavor is anything but simple. It’s woodsy, herbaceous and has a wonderfully salty, savory, depth of flavor.

Master this recipe and it will become a superpower you can dispense whenever good eats are required!

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Roasted Rosemary and Almonds


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Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 cups Almonds (fresh, organic, whole and unblanched)
  • 1/23/4 loosely packed fresh Rosemary Needles (whole, not crushed or dried)
  • 34 tablespoons, good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt (preferably Fleur de Sel or Himalayan Pink)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 280 degrees (F).
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first three ingredients and one teaspoon of the sea salt. Gently mix to evenly coat the mixture in oil.
  4. Pour the nut and herb mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and arrange in an evenly spaced, single layer.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir the nuts. Return them to the oven to cook for an additional 10 minutes. The nuts are fully toasted when they are golden in the center. After checking a nut or two, if the mix is not fully toasted, stir and return to the oven. Check for doneness every 3 – 5 minutes, being sure to toast not burn.
  7. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, cool slightly and dig in or cool completely and package in an airtight container. The rosemary and almonds keep their crispness for approximately two days.

Notes

  • Replace half of the almonds with a different kind of nut like cashews or pecans.
  • Add additional flavorings such as brown sugar, cayenne, nutmeg, drizzle with honey, etc.
  • Pairs beautifully with fresh pomegranate seeds, dried apricots or figs, marinated olives, mild soft and hard cheeses, Champagne, prosecco, beer, etc.
  • This recipe is vegan and plant based diet friendly. Yay!
  • *Recipe inspired by the venerable Alice Waters.

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