I don’t know about you, but when I am throwing any sort of little (or big) dinner party, I have no trouble with the main course, and no trouble with the dessert, but the appetizers always leave me a little stumped. Maybe I’ve used all my culinary brainwaves on the later courses, but my mind goes completely blank and all I can visualize is a wooden board with a hunk of cheddar and some Triscuits. Maybe a few nice grapes.
I can’t be satisfied with just ONE nibble before dinner, because God forbid anyone leave my house without feeling completely stuffed, and that is where these delectable and easy little nuts come in. You start with whatever brand or mix of mixed nuts you like. The Southern husband buys them in those large (obviously) plastic jugs at Costco, so we always have some around. Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet and toss in 2 cups of the mixed nuts, three tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, and two tablespoons of orange zest (most of a good sized-orange. If you have a microplane zester, this will take you about 90 seconds tops). Stir the whole thing around just until the sugar is melted and everything is well-combined, which will take about 2 minutes.
Now pour the whole thing onto a piece of parchment paper or non-stick foil and let it cool. That’s it…and just WAIT until you taste them. Sweet and salty and rosemary and orange and completely addictive. Try ‘em!
Buttered Rosemary Orange Nuts, adapted from Real Simple