A few weeks ago, my friend had a beautiful and tasty birthday dinner at Aldea, an Iberian peninsula-inspired restaurant in NYC. Although the food was quite excellent, one of the highlights of the night for me was the Marcona almonds that were brought out as a part of the "we're waiting for friends" appetizers course. These almonds were lightly fried in oil, salted, and then presented to us. I wanted to hoard the entire bowl myself. I may have done just that.
I knew I wanted to recreate these almonds, so when I saw a similar item on my assigned blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I immediately chose that recipe to recreate. New Yorker by Heart turned up the volume on these almonds by adding rosemary into the mix. Why yes, I would like to have a little rosemary in there. And it just so happens to be my second favorite herb (after basil, of course).
Rosemary Fried Almonds
inspired by New Yorker by Heart's Toasted Almonds
yields 1 3/4 cups almonds (1/2 lb)
- 1 3/4 cups (1/2 lb) raw almonds, shelled
- 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, finely diced
- 1/4 - 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
Blanch the almonds:
1) Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from heat.
2) Pour in the almonds and allow them to sit for 1-2 minutes.
3) Drain the almonds and run them under cold water for several seconds to cool them.
4) Working almond by almond, squeeze the skin off the flesh. This will be difficult at first, but as you work, the almond skin will loosen up and it will become easier.
5) Drain the almonds on paper towels.
Fry the almonds:
1) Heat a large saucepan on medium high.
2) Drizzle in the olive oil and allow to heat up for about a minute.
3) Toss in the rosemary and allow it to infuse the oil for about 30 seconds.
4) Place the almonds and the salt in the skillet. Toss to coat the almonds in the oil, rosemary, and salt.
5) Continue to toss the almonds until they begin to brown slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
6) Remove the almonds from the saucepan and allow to drain on paper towels.
I loved how these almonds turned out. They were completely snack-tastic. It's a word. Trust me. The rosemary flavor was prominent in each bite of almond, and that's how I like it. Feel free to use more or less rosemary depending on how much you like it. If you don't like rosemary at all, just nix it. No one will know.
New Yorker by Heart suggested that you could also add chili powder to the almonds at this point if you want a slight kick to this snack. I opted to skip this but I would try a sprinkle of chili in the future.
I have a small confession: I ended up adding a little too much salt to my almonds, so I adjusted the recipe above to reflect a smaller amount of salt than I actually used.
These can be a simple appetizer or they can be a tasty morning/afternoon/evening snack. The best thing about making these in the privacy of my own home? No sharing is required!