I first made my acquaintance with rosemary early in life. As children, we were often sent to fetch rosemary and thyme from the bushes of same that grew along the avenue which lead to our house. It was important to learn to distinguish the two and not return with the wrong one! The rosemary, though, I only ever remember being used with meats and in savoury dumplings for beef stew. Much later, I developed a liking for slices of courgette fried with rosemary and finished with a splash of lemon juice. Then, a few years ago, MGH gave me a little rosemary plant which, despite massive doses of neglect, has thrived in my garden, but was only pressed into use in the kitchen occasionally and, even then, always for savoury purposes.
It actually came as quite a surprise to me when I discovered recently that rosemary has a role to play in baking. I’ve lately made my first batch of rosemary sugar, thanks to big sis #1, who says she uses it to add an extra little something when she’s making fruit crumbles. I also have my culinary sights trained on Nigella Lawson’s rosemary loaf cake, which makes use of both fresh rosemary and rosemary sugar.
Meanwhile, my rosemary sensors have become very active and I have been taking note of rosemary appearing in (what are to me) alternative guises. This is why this recipe for rosemary cashews piqued my interest – it’s a combination that’s both sweet and savoury and makes for an excellent party nibble.
These I spotted on the Lottie and Doof blog and was naturally intrigued. The recipe is an Ina Garten one – someone who is well-known to those Stateside but (until recently at least) not at all familiar to me over here on the other side of the Atlantic pond. This makes quite a large batch, but it’s easily halved.
- 450g raw cashews
- 4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves (increase to 2 tblsp if you’d like a bigger rosemary hit)
- 2 tsp light brown sugar
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt (add more if it’s to your taste)
- 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tblsp unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 170C (or 160C if fan-assisted)
- Spread the cashews on a baking tray and place in the oven.
- Remove when a nice golden colour, which may take about 20 minutes or so. The nuts can burn easily so check them every few minutes and give them a stir around.
- Meanwhile, remove the leaves from some sprigs of rosemary and chop finely, giving enough for 4 tsp.
- Melt the butter and add the chopped rosemary, sugar, salt and cayenne.
- Toss the warm nuts in this mix and serve warm or at room temperature.
- 1 kg granulated or caster sugar
- 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 litre screw-top preserving jar
- Place the sprigs of rosemary in the jar and pour the sugar around them.
- Seal the jar and leave for 10-12 days, after which the sugar is well-infused with the rosemary scent.
- Remove the rosemary and keep the sugar for use in fruit crumbles or cakes. Nigella Lawson also suggests using small amounts in meat or tomato sauces for pasta.
Thank you for this – I can already taste them! These are going in my nut repertoire although I’ll be selfish and enjoy them for myself first. This is what I love about recipe-sharing: I’m unsure about my own sense of flavor combinations so one like this is a perfect opportunity to train (and treat) my tastebuds.
What a great way to use rosemary! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
You’re both welcome! It’s certainly not a combination I would have thought of, but, once I saw the recipe, I had to give it a try. I’m happy to report that these nuts have gone down very well with those who’ve tried them :)
No finer complimentary pair than these two, I say.
The smell, I’d imagine, is unbelievable!
Rosemary sugar sounds delicious, but I wouldn’t know what to do with it! The cashews I could definitely get some use out of though =)
Graeme: yes, a very complimentary pair and particularly good (and fragrant) while the nuts are still warm from the oven and the rosemary is freshly chopped
Gaga: I’m only just starting to explore what the rosemary sugar will be good for – it’s a work in progress :)
Ive heard of vanilla sugar, but rosemary sugar sure sounds great! Ill definitely make this! Thanks for sharing it with us, maybe I could use other nuts as well :) oh and if you have time will you drop by at Foodista ? We are building an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia and you can also check out our recipes on the site as well :) Cheers!
Thanks for visiting, I’ll definitely drop by Foodista and take a look!
these look so good! i love rosemary anything. cashews too? sign me up!
I love to serve nuts spiced and/or sweetened when I have people over, and I like making them for snacks in general, too! Tasty and addictive. I have a bottle of beaujolais nouveau that is begging to be drunk with these rosemary cashews served as nibblies. Yum!
Tasty and addictive indeed, toast up those cashews and bring on the beaujolais nouveau :)
Just to let you know that I’ve put a little shout out to you and a link to these recipes in my post today: It’s Springtime: How Do You Use Up Lettuce and Herbs?
Such great ideas!