Spiced Spanish Almonds ~ Salads and Gifts

Marcona Almonds! A gift for yourself and some for your friends. What could be better than that? Any time you make a treat in a big batch, there’s always enough for your family and to share or give as a gift to others. And with the holidays right around the corner, these Marcona almonds are a perfect hostess gift or a great little nibbly bit to give with a bottle of port, wine or a favor beer selection. Giving is so much fun!

The spiced almonds you keep for yourself can be used as a simple appetizer served along with a bowl of mixed olives so your guest don’t fill up on snacks before dinner. (think Thanksgiving) Another thing I like to do with seasoned nuts is toss them in a salad for a spicy crunch. They add that special touch you don’t usually get in your every day salads.

Calif vs Marcona

Spain is the only source of Marcona almonds in the world. Spaniards covet them for their crunchy, smooth and juicy texture and their buttery, sweet delicate taste. Marcona almonds are shorter, rounder and a little plumper than California almonds. In recent years the rest of the world has caught on to what a special almond this is. They are available in a very limited supply for the rest of the world and that is one of the reasons they tend to be rather pricey! If you have never tried Marcona almonds, then you must treat yourself and friends very soon to these tasty little morsels!

What makes Marconas even more precious is the trees are early bloomers, making them especially vulnerable to late spring frosts. The small groves are found along the Mediterranean coasts of Spain, from the southern coast of Málaga, up the Mediterranean coast to Tarragona. Unlike California almonds, with their light brown porous shells, Marcona almonds have a protective hard shell that resists insects. Because of this they may be grown naturally with no need for herbicides.

If, by chance, you have any leftover spiced almonds, pop them in a freezer bag and save them for your next party. I freeze all my nuts, before or after I give them a special treatment. They will last so much longer if you freeze them. Ever had a bag of peanuts at the ball park and you get that random nasty one you just want to spit out? That’s a rancid nut! Nothing is worse than the taste of a rancid nut in your mouth!  

Spiced Spanish Almonds 

Spanish Almonds Ingredients

Preheat oven to 275°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Mise en Place your goodies!

Mix sugar and spices

Whisk brown sugar, cumin, paprika, thyme, salt and cayenne together in a medium bowl.

Whip egg whites

Whisk the egg white and water in a small bowl until foamy. Don’t over whip them or you will be on your way to meringue!

Coat almonds in egg whites

Add the almonds to the egg white and stir to coat.

Drain excess egg whites

Drain the almonds through a sieve to remove any excess egg white. Don’t skip this step or you will have some scrambled like eggs in your nuts. Kind of gross!

Toss spices to coat

Transfer the almonds to the sugar and spices bowl and stir well to coat.

Spread in even layer

Spread the almonds in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. The almonds need room to dry and brown so try to get as many as you can from laying on top of each other.

Toss once

Bake the almonds for 30 minutes. Toss to stir, reduce the oven temperature to 200° and bake until the almonds are dry and golden; about 30-40 minutes more. Let the spiced almonds cool before serving.

Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container up to 1 week. These are great gifts for the holidays too! Salty and sweet, laced with some smoky heat—these almonds are perfect for a party or hostess gift. I like to toss them on a salad of mixed greens, sliced pears and Goat Cheese or shaved Manchego cheese with a light vinaigrette.

Spanish Style Green Salad
 
Everyday Vinaigrette:
 
Everyday Vinaigrette Ingredients
  
Combine vinegar, shallots, salt, Dijon mustard and pepper in a jar. I call this my “everyday” dressing because it pairs so nicely with so many different salads that I use it a lot!
 
Shake them Up
  
Add olive oil and shake vigorously until incorporated. I love to use mason jars or any old leftover jar for salad dressings. Make it and store it in the same container!
 

Mixed Green Salad:

Crisp Prosciutto

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the Spanish Serrano ham or Italian prosciutto in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, until crisp. It will crisp up more after it’s removed from the oven, so don’t over cook it.

Crumble in foil

Crumble the prosciutto in the foil, pour into a small dish and set aside. A quick way to crumble  the prosciutto , keep your hands clean and then toss the foil.

Thinly slice pears

Make the salad as big or small as you would like! Slice the pears thinly and set aside.

Dressing around bowl

To assemble the salad, put the mixed greens in a bowl and drizzle a small amount of dressing around the edge of the bowl, not directly on the greens. Toss to coat. Lightly dress the leaves with dressing. No drowning of the leaves or all of the wonderful flavor of the greens will be lost in the dressing.

Add a handful of almonds and the goat cheese to the greens. Toss again.

Spanish Style Green Salad

Place the greens on individual salad plates or all the greens on one large platter. Arrange the pear slices on top of the greens and sprinkle with crumbled prosciutto.

This is a high end restaurant quality salad you’ll be proud to serve to company, yet easy enough for a family meal. Nuts to Salad…..The gift that keeps on giving!

Spiced Spanish Almonds
Yields 3
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Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
979 calories
51 g
0 g
79 g
33 g
6 g
193 g
815 g
25 g
0 g
69 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
193g
Yields
3
Amount Per Serving
Calories 979
Calories from Fat 660
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 79g
121%
Saturated Fat 6g
31%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 20g
Monounsaturated Fat 49g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 815mg
34%
Total Carbohydrates 51g
17%
Dietary Fiber 17g
68%
Sugars 25g
Protein 33g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
43%
Iron
37%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  2. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  3. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  4. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  5. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1/4 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 1 large egg white
  8. 1 tablespoon water
  9. 1 pound (about 3 cups) Marcona or raw whole almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk brown sugar, cumin, paprika, thyme, salt and cayenne together in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg white and water in a small bowl until foamy. Add the almonds to the egg white and stir to coat. Drain the almonds through a sieve to remove any excess egg white.
  4. Transfer the almonds to the sugar and spices bowl and stir well to coat.
  5. Spread the almonds in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake the almonds for 30 minutes. Toss to stir, reduce the oven temperature to 200° and bake until the almonds are dry and golden; about 30-40 minutes more.
  7. Let the spiced almonds cool before serving.
Notes
  1. Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container up to 1 week. These are great gifts for the holidays too! Salty and sweet, laced with some smoky heat—these almonds are perfect for a party or hostess gift. I like to toss them on a salad of mixed greens, sliced ripe pears and Goat Cheese or shaved Manchego cheese with a light vinaigrette.
beta
calories
979
fat
79g
protein
33g
carbs
51g
more
Life of the Party Always! http://lifeofthepartyalways.com/
Spanish Style Green Salad
Write a review
Print
1349 calories
41 g
80 g
122 g
27 g
19 g
623 g
3290 g
21 g
0 g
99 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
623g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1349
Calories from Fat 1080
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 122g
188%
Saturated Fat 19g
96%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 13g
Monounsaturated Fat 86g
Cholesterol 80mg
27%
Sodium 3290mg
137%
Total Carbohydrates 41g
14%
Dietary Fiber 10g
40%
Sugars 21g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A
10%
Vitamin C
30%
Calcium
10%
Iron
20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Everyday Vinaigrette
  1. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  2. 2 tablespoon chopped shallots
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mixed Green Salad
  1. 1 Bartlett, Bosc or d'anjou pear, thinly sliced
  2. Mixed greens
  3. Spiced Spanish Almonds
  4. Goat Cheese
  5. 4-6 thin slices Spanish Serrano ham or Italian prosciutto, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Vinaigrette:Combine vinegar, shallots, salt, Dijon mustard, and pepper in a jar. Add olive oil and shake vigorously until incorporated. I love to use mason jars or any old leftover jar for salad dressings. Make it and store it in the same container!
  2. Salad:Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the Spanish Serrano ham or Italian prosciutto in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, until crisp. It will crisp up more after it's removed from the oven, so don't over cook it.
  3. Make the salad as big or small as you would like!
  4. To assemble the salad, put the mixed greens in a bowl and drizzle a small amount of dressing around the edge of the bowl, not directly on the greens. Toss to coat. Lightly dress the leaves with dressing. No drowning of the leaves or all of the wonderful flavor of the greens will be lost in the dressing.
  5. Add a handful of almonds and the goat cheese to the greens. Toss again.
  6. Place the greens on individual salad plates or all the greens on one large platter. Arrange the pear slices on top of the greens and sprinkle with crumbled prosciutto.
Notes
  1. Make the salad as big or small as you would like!
beta
calories
1349
fat
122g
protein
27g
carbs
41g
more
Life of the Party Always! http://lifeofthepartyalways.com/
 

 

 

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