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ready to nibble

ready to nibble

Warning: These are very moreish. They are a great snack, or perfect to serve to guests with a glass of something nice before dinner. Or you could just keep them in a bowl in the cupboard and visit them with a teaspoon multiple times a day, as though drawn by some sort of nut-attractant elastic. Like I do.

You can use any mix of raw nuts you fancy, and any mix of spices you like. It really doesn’t matter, and depends on your personal taste.

I used…

75g each of
Blanched almonds
Shelled pistachios
Macadamia halves

With 1tsp each of
Smoked paprika or Pimentón
Turmeric Chilli flakes
Crushed black peppercorns
Sea salt (add this at the end)
1 -2tsp of mild olive oil or rapeseed oil; you don’t want to mask the flavour of the nuts by using a strongly flavoured oil. I used a combination of the two.

Find the largest frying pan you have, as ideally the nuts will be spread out in in one layer to toast evenly. Heat the oil, then add the spices and swish about. You want the spices to sizzle a bit to let out their flavour.

Add the nuts and toss thoroughly to coat in the spiced oil. Turn the heat down and spread out the nuts on the base of the pan as much as possible. The aim is to gently toast them, so don’t leave them unattended or they’ll burn. I’m not one for leaving cooking unattended, usually, but I have this bizarre mindblock with pine nuts, which do this not-colouring-not-colouring-not-colouring-BURNT thing, whereby I put them in the pan and then become instantly distracted by something in another room. Don’t do that, or you’ll have an expensive pan of burnt nuts.

Move them around regularly, either by tossing in the air in that tossy chef way (I was doing this this afternoon and am proud to say that very few nuts needed to be hoovered up by the dog afterwards) or by using two spatulas to turn them. I find that one spatula just stirs and doesn’t really turn things over, whereas a spatula on each side, scooped underneath, does a better job. That’s it really. Keep doing that until the nuts are getting golden and gently toasted.
Try not to eat them all at once.