Toasted Nuts with Herbs
Serves 6 as a hearty snack
2 cups mixed nuts (unskinned almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, unskinned hazelnuts), or all of any one you prefer
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 egg whites
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Coarse salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. About 5 minutes after the oven starts heating, spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and put them in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let the nuts cool while the oven comes up to temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Beat with a fork until you get a little foaming of the egg whites. Beat in the oil, then stir in the nuts. Make sure the nuts are all well-coated.
Pour the nut mixture onto the baking sheet and spread the nuts out a bit so they’re just barely not touching each other. Sprinkle the chopped rosemary over the top. Put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Then take the pan out and scrape up the nuts with a spatula to make sure they don’t stick and break up some of the crust. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until everything’s lightly brown and smells beautifully. Taste one of the nuts for salt, and sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.