I once had lavender almonds at Ubuntu, a fabulous vegan restaurant in Napa, California that has recently closed for a sabbatical. I’m hoping it reopens soon but in the meantime, I’ll have to relive my delicious memories through re-creations such as this one. These delicious almonds are a bit salty and a bit sweet with a deep nutty flavor from roasting and an aromatic essence of fresh lavender for a floral twist. Even better, they are simple to make and a real show-stopper on the table, especially if you’re entertaining. I served these to my kids who also loved them!
I knew for a few days that I wanted to make these and had the almonds and the lavender oil but hadn’t yet gotten my hands on fresh lavender. But then I was at a friend’s home for a play date and her lovely daughter walked in and showed me some fragrant lavender she had been keeping for awhile so she could go back again and again to smell its sweet aroma. Gotta love that! Sounds like either a future botanist or chef to me! So I asked if she might be willing to go back out and fetch me a bouquet of lavender. She delightfully said yes and skipped out to her garden to retrieve it. I promised her I’d make something yummy with it and give her recognition in this here post for her efforts. : )
So here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
- 2 cups almonds
- 1 tbsp sugar (coarse is preferable)
- 2 tsp sea salt (again, coarse if possible)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lavender oil
- 1 sprig fresh lavender
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Roast the almonds on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.
Next, grind the lavender with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one, you could also use a coffee grinder. (*Please note that these almonds will taste great so long as you have either fresh lavender or lavender oil. If you can’t find one of those things, that’s okay!)
When the almonds are done roasting, take them out and toss them in a bowl with the lavender, sugar, salt and oils to coat. Do this while the almonds are still warm as it helps to get the salt-sugar mixture to stick. Sprinkle some fresh (unground) lavender on top for presentation.
Here’s a photo of my lavender oil that I found at Sur La Table. Most high-end grocery stores or cooking stores should carry it. You may also be able to find it at a beauty store that sells oils for massage and things like that.