There are so many ways to measure a year by – adventures had, apartments lived in, books read, kilometers run, loved ones lost, friendships made or revisited, shifts in focus or aspiration, and food: food eaten and food made, new discoveries and new favourites, and the people brought together around a table. So it makes sense that the days bookending a new year should be filled with both good food and good company. 2012/2013 delivered. We rang in 2013 at Pat & Lauren’s with Mike, Kait and Terry, and handfuls of these brown sugar rosemary walnuts.
I’m quite fond of this creation of Heidi Swanson’s: they’re more sweet than savoury, more chewy than crunchy, but enough of all four to be happily unexpected. Eat these nuts as a snack on their own, use them on top of soup, salads or vanilla ice cream, or crush them over your morning oatmeal.
Notes: Stirring the nuts at least once while they’re baking is key! Left to their own devices they’re prone to burning on the bottom, and while Dave will still eat them that way, they’re not near as delicious. If you’d like a less sweet nut, consider reducing the sugar by 1/3-1/2; and if you don’t like sticky fingers, try using one or one and a half egg whites instead of two.
Brown Sugar Rosemary Walnuts
from 101 Cookbooks
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp rosemary leaves, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 egg whites
4 cups walnuts halves
1/3 cup chopped dried figs, stems trimmed
1. In a small dish, toss together sugar, salt, chopped rosemary, and sesame seeds until combined. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, use a fork or whisk to briefly beat the eggs. Add walnuts and chopped figs, and stir until all the nuts are coated and the figs have been evenly dispersed. Add sugar mixture and stir until combined.
3. Scrape the walnuts and their egg-sugar coating onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Stirring every 10 minutes or so to avoid burning the nuts, bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until nuts are dry and sticky but not wet. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray before sliding the parchment paper off to a countertop to cool completely.