Roasted almonds with thyme and sea salt

Almonds are native to the Middle East, from Syria and Turkey and the regions  towards Pakistan. Spread by human settlement  along the shores of the Mediterranean into northern Africa and southern Europe, it is a prominent part of the food culture of both the Middle East and Europe – think tagines, marzipan, macarons and amaretti, and used in both sweet and savoury dishes. I love them roasted whole, chopped and added to salads, and covered with dark chocolate as a special treat. The earthy flavour of thyme is really delicious in this recipe, and with the sea salt they become the perfect snack. Really great as tapas, part of a cheese board, or with some Pedro Ximénez sherry, they would also make a lovely gift, in a fancy schmancy glass bottle.

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Makes 2 cups

2 cups almonds (skin on)
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 – 8 sprigs thyme
sea salt

Preheat oven to 180 C. In a medium sized bowl mix together the almonds and olive oil and add the thyme, mixing well. Place on a flat baking tray in a single layer and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with sea salt, to taste. Cool on the tray and then store in an airtight container.

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