Have you ever watched Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate? If you know me and you know my dad, then you know we are frequenters of all things Food Network, so this show is no exception. One particular episode featured Giada De Laurentiis raving about the nuts served at New York City's Union Square Cafe. My dad, in typical foodie fashion, filed the ingredients in his mental culinary catalog and produced an intuitive facsimile in his kitchen. Now having tasted his version of these nuts, I am a believer. These just might be the best snack I've ever had.
Now the challenge was to recreate them in my kitchen. I don't exactly have my dad's knack for throwing ingredients together on sheer instinct; rather, I rely on a recipe the first time and then modify later attempts as needed. Thanks to Nigella Lawson and the Food Network, I have the official Union Square recipe for you:
The Best Bar Nuts
2 1/4 cups (18 ounces) assorted unsalted nuts*, including peeled peanuts, cashews,
Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and whole unpeeled almonds
(*Trader Joe's has a bag of "fancy mixed nuts" that is perfect )
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt, and melted butter.
- Thoroughly toss the toasted nuts in the spiced butter and serve warm.
- These are addictive. You have been warned.