Warning: these nuts
can become are addictive!
Even the reject batches turned into something absolutely wonderful.
I had been served roasted rosemary cashews twice, both times at The Nashville Food Project’s Patron’s Party for Nourish. I was smitten! After this year’s event, I cruised the Internet for a recipe and found that superstar chefs like Ina and Nigella and a slew of others had been writing about these “bar nuts” from the Union Square Cafe in New York City for years. I had to make them.
A few words about the ingredients:
The Nuts. I made this recipe using one-pound bags of raw (unroasted), unsalted, cashews from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. The pound bags cost $7.99 at both stores. Be forewarned — raw, unsalted, cashews are hard to find at traditional grocery stores. At the Union Square Cafe, they use a combination of raw nuts.
Kosher Salt versus Table Salt. If you use kosher salt, you will need to add more salt. Kosher salt has larger crystals than table salt. Thus the salt takes up more volume but has less weight in a measuring spoon. Plan on using 1¼ to 1½ tablespoons of kosher salt to 1 tablespoon of regular salt.
Kosher salt has larger crystals because historically it was manufactured for “koshering” meat, a process where large crystals of salt were rubbed onto meat to remove surface blood. If table salt had been used, it might have been absorbed by the meat. Eventually, the name “koshering salt” was reduced to kosher salt.
Olive oil versus Butter. I tried using olive oil instead of butter, but the seasonings wouldn’t stick to the nuts.
Yield: 6½ cups
Preheat oven to 350º
2 pounds whole, raw, unsalted cashews
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (from about 1 ounce of sprigs)
½ -¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on how much heat you like
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt (if using kosher salt, you will need to use 1¼ to 1½ tablespoons)
2 tablespoons melted butter
Mise en Place:
Pour nuts into a large, rimmed, baking pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, measure the seasonings and mince the fresh rosemary.
Melt the butter and add to the bowl of seasonings. Stir.
Immediately after removing nuts from oven, pour nuts into a large bowl and add the seasoning mixture. You could add the butter mixture directly to the pan and toss, but the nuts tend to spill out as you stir and much of the seasoning stays on the bottom of the pan. I think it’s better to mix in a bowl.
Let flavors meld for about ten minutes, occasionally stirring to distribute the seasonings evenly. Your house will smell divine.
Serve warm or allow nuts to cool by spreading them in a roasting pan.
These nuts make great holiday and hostess gifts.
Roasted Rosemary Cashew Nut Butter
What did I do with my reject batches of roasted cashews? I tried making nut butter for the first time using my Vitamix processor. The results were amazing!! I’m so thrilled to have made something new that is so tasty. I processed the three pounds of nuts for only two minutes.
P.S. The seasoning mixture is yummy on popcorn.
Related Snack Recipes:
Roasted Tamari Almonds (and growing soybeans)
Cooking Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag
“Croatian Cheese” a Flavorful and Exotic Appetizer Made with Feta and Goat Cheese
Auntie Martha’s Spicy Spinach (aka Spinach Madeleine)
The Classic Pimiento Cheese Sandwich
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