Rosemary-Infused Almonds with Homemade Almond Oil
While preparing a cooking demonstration for the Google staff in San Francisco, the chef presented me with the most delicious homemade pistachio oil. He said he couldn’t readily find what I had requested, so prepared a batch himself! That put me in a creative mood, and now when the proper nut oil is not readily at hand, I make my own. Here’s a version I created using top-quality almonds. I use the oil to embellish all manner of foods, from braised asparagus to these toasted, herb-infused almonds.
Equipment: A small, nonstick skillet; an electric spice mill; a baking sheet.
2 1/2 cups whole almonds, divided
1/3 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as grapeseed, peanut, or safflower
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for garnisH
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- Center a rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- . Prepare the almond oil: In the skillet, toast 1/2 cup of the almonds over moderate heat until toasty and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Toss from time to time to toast them evenly. Remove to a plate to cool. Once cooled, transfer the nuts to the spice mill and grind coarsely, to about the size of a small grain of rice.
- In a small saucepan, warm the oil. Off the heat, add the ground almonds and stir to blend. Set aside for at least 1 hour to infuse the oil. Transfer the oil and nuts to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups of almonds, 1 tablespoons almond oil (with the ground nuts), 1 tablespoon minced rosemary, the lemon zest and the salt. Toss to coat the nuts. Transfer to the baking sheet. Scatter with the whole sprigs of rosemary.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and toast until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Once cooled, remove and discard the rosemary sprigs. (Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.) At serving time, garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.