You can make these savory cocktail nuts with almost any kind of nut – cashews, pecans, and peanuts are good choices – and almost any herb – oregano, thyme, and tarragon work well.
Look for walnuts that are pale in color. Although rich and flavorful, walnuts are bitter to some people. If you feel this way, simply remove the skins by rubbing the nuts with a towel after toasting them, before you add any other ingredients.
Makes 2 cups.
2 cups lightly toasted walnut halves
1 tablespoon vegetable or walnut oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 2 teaspoons dried
½ teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss until the nuts are well coated.
3. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the nuts are fragrant and deeply colored, 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven, immediately loosen the nuts with a metal spatula, and set aside to cool before serving.
Not just for snacking: Add these herbaceous nuts to green or chicken salads.
From Party Nuts! 50 Recipes for Spicy, Sweet, Savory, and Simply Sensational Nuts That Will Be the Hit of Any Gathering (The Harvard Common Press, 2002)