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Maple-Rosemary Glazed Walnuts

I am a big fan of green salads topped with fruit and nuts, especially when the nuts are glazed or spiced!  I also love snacking on nuts – salted, spiced, glazed, smoke-flavored – I love them all.  I’m not sure why I’ve never tried making something like this before, but these glazed walnuts were so simple I’m kicking myself for not trying it sooner.

When I first saw Ellie Krieger’s recipe for Maple Glazed Walnuts, I was a little skeptical that they would turn out right.  It just seemed too easy.  If the recipe had been attributed to any other Food Network celebrity I’m not sure I even would have tried it, but I trust Ellie more than some of the others.

I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Krieger last year during my cherry trip to Michigan.  She did a quick cooking demonstration using tart cherries for a handful of bloggers, myself included.  I’m not sure why I haven’t gushed about this before, but Ellie Krieger was super-friendly, absolutely beautiful, and a really great cook.  Although I hadn’t really watched her show before, I became a big fan after meeting her in person and hearing her talk about food and cooking.  I don’t have any of her cookbooks yet, but I’ve heard really good things about The Food You Crave and So Easy, and they’re both on my wish list!

Let’s get back to the walnuts.  I decided to go ahead and give the glazed walnuts a try, but thought the addition of some fresh chopped rosemary might be interesting.  Well, I knew it would be interesting, but I was hoping it would also be good.  It was.  The recipe worked perfectly.  I ended up with delicious glazed walnuts in less than five minutes!

The first thing I did – other than nonstop snacking on glazed walnuts – was make this delicious green salad with strawberries, blue cheese, and strawberry-balsamic vinaigrette.  The walnuts were a perfect addition.  Enjoy!

Maple-Rosemary Glazed Walnuts
adapted from this recipe by Ellie Krieger

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

In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup, rosemary, and a pinch of salt.  Heat a dry skillet (I used nonstick) over medium-high heat.  Add walnuts to the hot skillet and pour in maple syrup mixture.  Cook, stirring frequently, until maple syrup has caramelized, about 3 minutes.  Spread walnuts out on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a bit more salt if desired.  Let cool.

Green Salad with Strawberries, Blue Cheese, Glazed Walnuts and Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

mixed greens of your choice
sliced strawberries
maple-rosemary glazed walnuts
crumbled blue cheese
freshly ground black pepper
strawberry-balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

Combine first four ingredients in a salad bowl, drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of black pepper.  Toss well to combine.  Serve immediately

Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette

4 medium strawberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup canola oil (or any other neutral-flavored oil), plus more to taste
salt and pepper to taste

In a blender, puree strawberries, vinegar and mustard. With blender running on low speed, slowly pour in the oil in a very thin stream until it has all been incorporated. Taste and add a bit more oil if the dressing is too strong (I like my dressings a bit on the vinegary side, so I don’t add more oil).  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Store in fridge, use within a few days.

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