Go Nuts With These Nuts & A Glass of Port!


These are my favorite spiced nuts and I’ve been asked for the recipe more times than I can count! I honestly think the secret ingredient is the rosemary—there is lots of it and it is sharp yet fragrant.

This recipe & photo is from Domenica Cooks & is in fact adapted slightly from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook, by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano; 1994 Harper Collins.

Ingredients (this recipe makes 5 cups)

5 cups mixed raw nuts (I like almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a rimmed cookie sheet. Toast in the oven until they become light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. In the large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Thoroughly toss the warm toasted nuts with the spiced butter.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

What bottle of wine to uncork?

Quite simply a bottle of port of course.  Whether you prefer a Ruby, Tawny, Late Bottle Vintage or Single Quinta port, there are so many to choose from that you can spend all fall & winter learning about the world of port.


Be Savvy! A quick guide of Ports

The history of Port is closely linked to Portugal’s trading relationship with England.  Port was introduced to the rest of the world by the British, as they searched for an alternative to French wines during the unrest of the late 17th century.

Most of the Port Houses are based inVila Nova de Gaiain, Oporto. The vineyards are carved into the mountainside north of Oporto along the River Duoro that meanders across the north of Portugal before it heads to meet the Atlantic Ocean in the city of Oporto.

The winemaking process results in many different styles including:

White Port
Made with white grapes, white port can range from off-dry to sweet.


Ruby Ports
These Ports have retained their deep red colour.

Ruby  – Young, refreshing port matured in large casks 2-3 years, ready for immediate enjoyment.

Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) – This is made in a specific year (vintage), aged in casks 4-6 years before being bottled.  LBVs can be enjoyed soon after purchasing & will keep several weeks after opening.

Single Quinta Port – ‘Quinta’ is Portuguese for an estate or vineyard, and is roughly equivalent to in wine terms, a French ‘Château’.  A Quinta may (or may not) have an elaborate house on the property.  ASingleQuintaPort is from grapes grown in the best vineyard.  This style matures earlier thanVintagePort.

Vintage Port  – Only produced in exceptional years, & declared a Vintage year by the Port Wine Institute.  This wine spends 2-3 years in barrels, then ages in the bottles for 20+ years.


Tawny Ports
By increasing the wine’s contact with air and wood over time, Tawny matures more rapidly than Ruby & transforms into a delicate orange hued colour & smoother flavour.

Aged Tawny – blends of various harvests, the average age is indicated on the label as “10 year old Tawny” or “20 year old Tawny”.

Colheita – the Portuguese word for ‘harvest’ or ‘vintage’.  This port is made from a single vintage (specific year) & is aged in barrels for a minimum of 7 years.



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