Only a few things keep me from entertaining as often as I would like: time, energy, and that three week old pile of laundry in the family room (which maybe just might be related to that time and energy thing, just maybe).(All links open a new page, so you won’t lose your spot when you look around! Get information on gardening and cultural traditions, recipes, stories, and more!)
Growing up mostly Greek, entertaining was a part of my life. My parents hosted a range of parties for work colleagues and friends, for holidays or for “just because”. The parties were often small, intimate gatherings of 40 or (usually) more people. For Greeks, that IS small and intimate!
I learned a lot watching as my parents prepared to host these get-togethers. One thing in particular was to try to have as much food that was easy to prepare, but not straight-out-of-the-bag kind of easy. Homemade as much as possible, but still doable. Once I started hosting my own intimate gatherings (ha!), I began to understand how important it was to plan in advance and try to do as much easy offerings as I could.
The best thing about these nuts, other than the flavor, is how very easy they are. They are also best if made a few to several days in advance (score!). You can start with pre-roasted and/or pre-salted or just plain, raw nuts, so it is also a versatile recipe, too!
Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Nuts Recipe
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Place the nuts in a bowl large enough to toss them without falling all over the place. Put olive oil into a small saucepan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot and looking “shimmery”, add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, stirring regularly. Remove from heat after about a minute. Do not let garlic brown!
Drizzle olive oil mixture over the nuts, sprinkle in the sugar and salt. Use the lower amount of salt if your nuts are pre-salted, use the higher amount if they are plain. Toss gently to coat evenly. Dump the nuts into a roasting or baking pan and spread out evenly.
Place the pan in the oven. If your nuts are pre-roasted, you will remove them after about five minutes and stir them. If they are raw, you will want to roast them about 15-20 minutes, stirring them every 4-5 minutes. Do not let the nuts become too browned, as they will continue to cook even after they are removed from the oven until they are finally cool.
Once cooled, transfer them to an airtight container. They will greatly improve with flavor if allowed to sit at least 24 hours, and will last for a long while until you are ready to serve them! The olive oil will also get absorbed into the nuts if they are allowed to sit and will not have a greasy look or feel to them. Even better!