The Perfect Snack: Salty Sweet Roasted Nuts
Recipe, words & photography by Harriet Davidson
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to spend a few days on Tasmania’s Bruny Island. As we drove around the beautiful island, we snacked from road-side stalls of goods made by locals, picking up produce and bread along the way for that night’s dinner. One of these was a bag of roasted nuts that I couldn’t stop eating. They came with a heat from chilli, a sweetness from honey and a woodsy taste from the rosemary. I wrote in my notebook, “there’s rosemary, there’s chilli, there’s honey and there’s salt.” Six months later, from a locked-down Sydney, I started playing with these flavours to recreate this salty-sweet snack.
In a time where snack time has reached a whole new level of importance in sparking-of-the-joy, this easy and more-ish recipe is a nice one to shake up your usual go-to. Use whatever nuts you have in your pantry, halve the recipe, double the recipe. They store very nicely in a jar for snack time all week long.
Curl up on the couch with a bowl of these and a book, light a candle and hit play on Tezeta (Nostalgia), or perhaps let these goodies brighten your 3pm on a Tuesday when your inbox is feeling like the last place you want to be. They’re salty, they’re sweet and they’re crunchy - three excellent things in a snack, in my opinion.
2 cups of raw nuts (I’ve gone with peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts)
4 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli powder (double this if you’re a chilli fan like me)
2 tbsp fennel seeds (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200C degrees. Mix all nuts together and, on a baking tray, place them in the oven for about 7 minutes until starting to golden.
Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix the honey, olive oil, rosemary, chilli powder and salt together over a low heat, letting the honey melt and the flavours infuse for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Add the hot, roasted nuts (and fennel seeds if using) into the saucepan and mix, making sure all the nuts are well coated.
Pour nuts back onto the baking tray and spread them out to make sure they’re in a single layer. Sprinkle with another good pinch of sea salt before popping them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, giving them a mix halfway through cooking.
Once they’re golden, remove from oven and pop them straight onto a piece of baking paper laid out on a cooling rack to allow the nuts to cool and honey to set.
Snack away. And keep any extras in a glass jar on your pantry shelf for when you need a little something.