Crispy Rosemary Walnuts

By • October 7, 2010 • 14 Comments

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Author Notes: Here’s uncomplicated slow food at its best. We enjoy these fragrant morsels in salads, baked in savory scones, and simply eaten out of hand. You'll find that, unlike many savory nuts, these have a delicate scent, and a mild flavor that does not overwhelm that of the nuts. The technique of brining nuts before roasting at a low heat for a long time is from Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions.” These are a first cousin to my Crispy Spice-Brined Pecans, also posted here on Food52. Enjoy!! ;o)
AntoniaJames

Makes 2 cups of nuts

  • 2 cups of raw walnut halves and large pieces
  • 2 branches of fresh rosemary, each 4-5 inches (preferably, just picked)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Pour it into a glass or ceramic bowl with the rosemary branches and the salt.
  2. Cool to lukewarm, then stir it well. Add the nuts and allow them to soak for about 8 hours.
  3. Heat oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Remove the rosemary branches, then drain the nuts and spread them on a large baking sheet, with plenty of room between the nuts. I like to use parchment for this.
  5. Roast for 12 – 15 hours, taking care to open the door of the oven after the first 30 minutes, and then after the first hour, if you can, to let the steam out. Stir the nuts 3 or 4 times during the roasting period. Store in a tightly lidded container.
  6. Enjoy!! ;o)
  7. NB: Some ovens turn themselves off automatically after a pre-determined length of time. I discovered this one morning when I came into the kitchen expecting to see my nuts nearing the end of their roasting cycle. I'd been baking the evening before, and just turned my oven way down before putting the nuts in, immediately before going to bed. The oven turned itself off at some point during the night. I ended up turning the oven back on and letting the nuts roast for a few more hours. In any event, if you've had the oven on for other purposes and you want to roast the nuts overnight, turn the oven off first, and then turn it back on, to avoid this problem. ;o)
Jump to Comments (14)

Tags: Cocktail Party, nuts, roast, roast, savory, serves a crowd, Slow Cooking

Comments (14) Questions (0)

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Me_by_barbara_tyroler

almost 4 years ago Nora

By the way, these were very, very good. The only way to eat walnuts from now on!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Nora! We're crazy about them, too. They're so addictive, they're dangerous. (And I apologize for the delay in responding. I've been totally consumed by client work since a few days after I posted this, so it's been a real challenge keeping up with the rather large volume of email messages coming from food52. I didn't see this comment until today.) ;o)

Me_by_barbara_tyroler

about 4 years ago Nora

They'll be out of the oven in about half an hour. I've been sampling, of course. Delicious.

Me_by_barbara_tyroler

about 4 years ago Nora

Hi, Antonia and all. I bought walnuts today and will try the recipe as written.

I'm wondering if the drained nuts could be cooked in a slow cooker, as well as in the oven. Cheers.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I don't think you can cook them in a slow cooker, as they need a lot of dry heat around the nuts, in order to get them crispy. I'm sure you figured that out already, though. Thanks for asking! ;o)

Me_by_barbara_tyroler

about 4 years ago Nora

Antonia and all, I bought walnuts today and will try the recipe as written. I do wonder--could the nuts be cooked in a slow cooker, rather than a low oven? Cheers.

Christine-28_small(1)

about 4 years ago cheese1227

AntoniaJames, I understand your point about adding flavor to the brine, but what does the brining itself accomplish? I'm just wondering.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It greatly improves their texture and flavor, once they've been slow roasted. You are essentially dehydrating the nuts by the long cooking in a slow oven. The nuts taste light (because they are, if you were to weigh them, lighter). Plus, and this is a big plus for me, there is no salt or oil on the surface of the nuts, which is often the case with traditional methods of flavoring nuts. I'm working on some variations, but alas, have so many other "distractions" this week (like client work, a remodeling project, etc.) Thanks for asking! ;o)

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, and I've been told that brining also improves their digestibility and the body's absorption of the many nutrients in the nuts. I am not an expert on the subject, though, so I cannot confirm that the latter claim is true. ;o)

2010-09-15_14.22.07

about 4 years ago calendargirl

Soooo clever! Would there be any problem with simply doubling this recipe? Two cups seems like hardly any somehow!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes, you can, but you probably won't need to double the water, depending on the size and shape of your soaking vessel. I'd soak the rosemary in 2 1/2 cups of water to start, then add more water if necessary to cover, after combining the brine and the nuts. Have fun!! ;o)

Me_by_barbara_tyroler

about 4 years ago Nora

I'm eager to try these. I routinely roast almonds, pecans, and cashews. The walnuts will be a nice addition. A local specialty store sells wonderful rosemary almonds, so I'll probably have to try your method with almonds, too. Any thoughts?

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes, I'm sure you could do this with almonds. Let me know, please, how they turn out! ;o)

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about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so doing this.