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BackstoryThis is a quick way to turn a handful of almonds into a nice finger food for company, or even for snacking. The chile isn't overwhelming, just hot enough to give it a little pop at the back of your throat.
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dried crushed red pepper
- 3 cups whole unblanched almonds
- 1 tsp coarse kosher salt OR 1/2 tsp pickling salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add dried crushed red pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add nuts and stir 2 minutes.
- Place skillet in oven and roast nuts until very fragrant and slightly darker in color, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- NOTES: You can swap out half the almonds with walnut halves. I wouldn't use pecans here, but any other similar nut would probably do. I like the unblanched – I think the skin on the almonds roasts up nicely and gives it a deep flavor, a little like popcorn. But if you don't like the skins, use unblanched.
- If you find the oil isn't coating all of the nuts, you can increase the amount to 4 tbsp (1/4 cup). But anything more than that will make the almonds completely greasy. I like to use as little oil as possible for this. Pickling salt (or popcorn salt) granules are much smaller than kosher salt granules, so if you're using pickling salt make sure to cut back. Otherwise, all you'll taste is salt