Thursday, January 20, 2011

Maple Walnuts with Rosemary and Orange Zest

Last week on my trip to Anchorage I felt like a temperamental four year old. In my head I was stomping my feet and crying "Why?". Why can't we have a cheese shop in Fairbanks? What about a chocolate lounge? A good brewery? The big question, why can't we get lettuce that isn't slimy and disgusting? I just don't understand. Maybe I need a nap.
I understand why we can't have the things that Seattle has. Shipping costs, distance, etc...
It's just not fair that Anchorage gets to have them and we don't. Really, it is only a seven hour car ride, or less than an hour by plane. Hmmmph.
Well, at least I was able to have two good salads while I was there. I also picked up some Valdeon Blue Cheese from Frommagio's. Back here in the real world of Fairbanks I scour the produce section for something green and leafy to serve it with. I will even stoop to bag lettuce, or this week a bag spinach. All this to eat something green. Good luck finding fresh veggies to top that salad. Luckily, with some really good cheese, homemade vinaigrette, and some dried fruit I can get by with something that resembles salad. If I really want to feel like I'm eating something special and forget about the lack of fresh produce, I  add some candied nuts. Recently, I stumbled across a few good  recipes that really add that extra touch to an otherwise boring salad. This recipe is a combination of two of them. The citrus flavor really complements the blue cheese and the rosemary makes your house smell wonderful while they are cooking. Rosemary and Citrus are both recommended recommended aromatherapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Maple Walnuts with Rosemary and Orange Zest
adapted from here and here

2 cups walnut halves
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon orange zest
pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts to the hot skillet and quickly pour in maple syrup. Stir in rosemary, orange zest, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until maple syrup has caramelized, about 3 minutes, watch closely to avoid burning. Spread walnuts out on a sheet of parchment paper. Leave space in between, spread thin. Place in oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to one month. Coarsely chop to add to salad.
This post was created for the Spice Rack Challenge. This months selection was Rosemary. To see other Rosemary posts check out the Spice Rack Challenge Blog.
Mother's Kitchen: 2011 Spice Rack Challenge - A Food Blog Challenge

Other great Rosemary Resources:
The Essence of Rosemary: Rosemary in the Kitchen
The Health Benefits of Rosemary
Buttered Rosemary Rolls Recipe

9 comments:

  1. Great recipe and so simple!! Nice way to finish off slightly soft/old walnuts!

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  2. Oh look, you are in the spice rack challenge - mea culpa! (on the comment on my own blog)

    These nuts sound fabulous. My dad usually sends us a lot of pecans from his backyard trees, maybe I'll try them in this recipe once they arrive...

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  3. Seriously mouth-watering photos!

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  4. Nice looking salad! Sorry about the lack of winter produce... that would make me temperamental as well!

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  5. that is a wonderful looking salad!

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  6. Thanks for stopping by. This sounds delicious! Ditto Meg's comment about the produce. I'm having fum looking through your archives and can't wait to see what else you come up with for the Spice Rack Challenge. My friend, Stephanie (http://paysumattn2.wordpress.com/), is hoping to move her entire family to Alaska this year. I'm sending your site to her.

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  7. Oh, wow! Does this salad with nuts looks so good! What a lovely blog you have here! I am so happy you stopped by my place and left your comment ~ nice to meet you!

    Kindly, Lorraine

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  8. I've just made these and the smell in my kitchen is amazing. I'm not sure they'll make it to a salad, its much more likely they'll get polished off with a cold beer!

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  9. What can I say "yummy" I have never candied my own nuts - this makes it sound like I can. I will give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration.

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your comments.

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