I have been foraging and cooking since Saturday for Christmas Dinners this Friday and Saturday and beyond. Folks who know me occasionally exclaim “ARE YOU NUTS?!” when I tell them what’s planned for the season (though I have to admit, I NEVER make everything I plan to make) but they happily munch on the results anyway. So today, let me give you three ideas that are really nutty… literally chockfull of nuts that is. By November our freezer is stocked up with all kinds of nuts, and here’s an easy and delicious recipe for some nuts to munch on before your lunch or dinner…
Take a heaping cup of raw almonds (with skins), walnuts, cashew nuts, pecans and filberts and toss them all together in a bowl with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season generously with good salt (no iodine) and freshly ground pepper and add some chopped rosemary, sage and other herbs you like. A few dashes of sweet paprika if you like. Mix well, put onto a baking sheet, and bake at 200F (yes, a very low heat) for 2.5 hours or so until the nuts are lightly browned and dryish despite the film of oil. Long slow heating is the key, don’t try and rush this. They will crisp up as they cool. UTTERLY ADDICTIVE. I didn’t invent this, I read it in a food magazine a while back.
Once cool, store nuts in an airtight jar for up to 3-4 days. They make wonderful presents when you are bringing a hostess gift for a holiday dinner. So easy to do, so eye-opening and eyebrow-raisingly delicious. People will ask you where you bought them and you’ll sound so arte when you say “we make them”… Hahaha. Enjoy!