I've been looking at my over packed freezer pantry for awhile and thinking about trying to clean it out so containers of Tofutti don't attack us every time we open it. I stock all kinds of nuts in the freezer but all too often use them only in sweet preparations. I decided to make some spiced nuts and use up the remainder of a bag of walnut halves. After pondering several flavor combinations I settled on smoked paprika, thyme and lemon. My thyme plant was in desperate need of a haircut! Alex had to try these because he loves trying spicy things and then dramatically running for water. I think he actually liked the spice but doesn't care for walnuts so they weren't a hit with him. I thought they were wonderful so I'm taking them to a Memorial Day barbecue so I don't end up eating them all myself.
Pimenton Spiced Walnuts
Makes 2 cups
2 cups walnut halves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked hot paprika (pimenton picante)
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
-Lay walnut halves in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes.
-While the walnuts are baking mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl.
-Remove the walnuts from the oven and toss in spice mixture while still hot. Spread the coated walnuts back onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
-Turn the oven to 300 degrees F and bake 3 minutes. Stir the nuts and bake for a final 3 minutes.
-Remove from the oven and cool.