I need a “pause” button for life. Last week, in 48 hours time, I flew from Los Angeles to New York to Los Angeles and finally to Hawaii, where I arrived beyond jet lagged. You’re probably thinking, “Hawaii, huh? Quit your complaining!” But, the reality is that I have a few more weeks of work ahead of me before I can really take a break. In the five days since I arrived on island, I’ve spent every waking moment indoors going line-by-line through the galley version of my cookbook. It’s an exhausting but necessary process that will bring the book one step closer to completion.
Needless to say, I’ve been in need of brain-food to keep me uber-focused and that where this recipe fits in. I wanted a roasted almond snack that’s a bit more exciting than almonds straight from the bag but quick enough to fit in my schedule. The result are these super low-fuss, but flavor-packed roasted nuts. They’d probably work fabulously as part of cocktail party or as a holiday gift, but, I won’t be thinking about those things for at least another 5 days. And, at the pace I’m going, that might as well be light-years away.
Sweet-Spicy Roasted Harissa Almonds Recipe
Roasted nuts are a staple whenever I’m entertaining and this method can be used with any mixture of nuts. I like making it with a fiery spice mixture, like this harissa, and some honey to make a more exotic take on hot and spicy roasted nuts. Harissa is a North African spice blend that has a fair amount of kick to it thanks to the addition of (traditionally) piri piri chiles. It can be found in a paste form as well as a dry spice mix, which is the type I use here. If you can only find the paste, go ahead and use it, although you may need to cook the almonds a bit longer to dry them out. You could also make your own or use your favorite chili powder spice blend instead.
- Makes: About 2 cups
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Hands-On Time: Less than 5 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons Harissa spice mixture
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 pound whole blanched almonds
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Combine olive oil, spices, salt, and almonds in a large bowl; spread evenly in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake almonds, stirring every 5 minutes, until fragrant, golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly or to room temperature before serving. (The almonds will become crisper as they cool. Can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.)