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Salted Almonds

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 Serves: 6-8
225g / 8 oz whole almonds, in their skins or blanched (see method)
4 tbsp Spanish olive oil
coarse sea saIt
1 tsp paprika or ground cumin (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF Fresh almonds in their skins are superior in taste but blanched almonds are much more convenient. If the almonds are not blanched, put them in a bowl, cover with boiling water for 3-4 minutes, then plunge them into cold water for 1 minute. Drain them well in a sieve, then slide off the skins between your fingers. Dry the almonds well on kitchen paper.

Put the olive oil in a roasting tin and swirl it rou nd so that it covers the bottom. Add the almonds and toss them in the pan so that they are evenly coated in the oil, then spread them out in a single layer.

Roast the almonds in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are light golden brown, tossing several times during the cooking. Drain the almonds on kitchen paper, then transfer them to a bowl.

While the almonds are still warm, sprinkle with plenty of sea salt and the paprika or cumin, if using, and toss well together to coat. Serve the almonds warm or cold.

The almonds are at their best when served freshly cooked so, if possible, cook them on the day you plan to eat them. However, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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