The rest of the holidays are fast approaching. And you know what that means… lots of holiday parties! Whether you’re hosting or attending, chances are at some point this season you’ll need to contribute some sort of food to a holiday event. And what would a party be without appetizers?! If you’re looking for something quick to add to your party spread, or even a unique hostess gift to bring to someone else’s party, look no further. These herbed almonds are simple and delicious, and can be made ahead of time (always a bonus when it comes to party planning). The crunchy almonds flecked with sea salt, herbs and pepper pair beautifully with a cheese plate and a glass of wine. Of course, no one says that has to happen at a party – wine, cheese and some herbed almonds sounds like a fantastic dinner to me!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups whole blanched almonds*
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
*I found whole blanched almonds in the bulk section of Whole Foods. If you can’t get your hands on them, blanch them yourself! Just place the almonds in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water, and allow to sit for one minute. Drain, rinse with cold water, and turn out onto a clean kitchen towel. Rub the almonds with the towel and your fingers until the skins slip off (it’s ok if a little skin remains!)
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until most have turned a light golden brown – about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme, salt and pepper. Spread the almonds out on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Yield: 2 cups almonds