The trick to making these almonds so very fragrant is to toast them in a bit of lard infused with fresh herbs. Culinary herbs release their volatile oils easily in fat - whether over a prolonged period of time as called of in making herbed olive oil, or in only a few moments in a hot pan. Once plucked from the pan, their flavor remains in the hot fat, infusing these almonds with their resonant aroma and taste. It's a technique I use often, in braising meats, or in making soups and sauces, too.
Toasted Almonds Recipe
- Melt the lard in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Drop in rosemary and thyme, and allow them to sizzle in the hot fat until they crisp. Then remove and discard the herbs.
- Toss the blanched almonds into the seasoned fat, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown and they release a deep nutty aroma.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the almonds from the pan and spoon them into a bowl. Toss them gently, while still hot, with salt and lemon zest. Allow them to cool, and then serve.