I’ve been dreaming about these almonds for over a year now. The last winery we visited (Robert Sinskey) during our trip to Napa last year had wonderful food pairings with their wines. All of the food was amazing but the almonds are the only thing that I kept thinking about (probably it was the only thing that I could figure out how to make on my own). Anyway, so with the extra rosemary that I had from the Italian Greyhound I posted yesterday, I decided that it was time to give this dish a try. So I did, and then I proceed to eat the whole bowl. Yum!
Fried Rosemary Almonds
1 cup blanched almonds*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the blanched almonds to the oil and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes to ensure the almonds don’t brown to much. Remove the pan from the heat, add the rosemary and salt the almonds to taste. Cool before serving and store in an airtight container for a week or two.
* If you can’t find blanched almonds, you can easily make your own. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add raw, unsalted almonds to the water and let them cook for about a minute (not any longer or they will soften too much). Immediately strain the almonds and place them in an ice bath or run them under cool water. Once cooled, simply peel the skin from the almonds (they almost pop out of the skin if you squeeze on one of the ends). Place the blanched almonds on a paper towel to remove any excess water before frying them.
These Olive Oil Muffins by Giada Di Laurentiis are one of my favorite brunch items. I know it sounds crazy to add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to these sweet muffins but the flavors blend so nicely with the orange and lemon zests. I’ve been making these for a while but only recently started adding dried cranberries and I am so very glad that I did.
Like I said, I’ve served these several times for brunch but they would also be a perfect little snack with a cup of tea. Enjoy!
Olive Oil Muffins (slightly adapted from Giada Di Laurentiis)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup almond, slices toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
Powdered sugar, for sifting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place muffin liners in 12-cup muffin pan. Blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vinegar and milk. Gradually beat in the oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Crush the almonds with your hands as you add them to the batter along with the chopped dried cranberries and stir until mixed. Fill the muffin tin almost to the top of the paper liners. Bake until golden on top and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins onto a platter and let cool for 5 more minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the muffins and serve.