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Fried almonds (almendras fritas) are an authentic tapa in Spain ~ the almonds are traditionally deep fried and then salted (definitely) and spiced (frequently) and served either warm or at room temperature. I have adapted the recipe to be pan-toasted in olive oil; just as tasty and not so intimidating. I prefer the almonds while they are still warm ~ it makes for a more interesting eating experience ~ but they are still delicious at room temp. Feel free to play around with the spicing: add hot pepper, ground cumin, or lemon pepper. I prefer them the way I have written it ~ enough salt to make them snacky and a hint of smoked paprika for an exotic touch.


1 cup raw almonds
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp smoked sweet paprika
a few grinds of black pepper


Heat a large skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the two teaspoons of olive oil. Add the almonds and stir to coat with oil. Toast the almonds, stirring almost constantly, until the nuts are lightly toasted, about six minutes (the nuts will start to give off a slightly toasted aroma, but shouldn’t have any dark or black spots on them). While the nuts are toasting, keep an eye on the heat. Every stove is different. If the oil is smoking or the pan seems otherwise too hot, turn down the heat. If the nuts don’t appear to be toasting, turn the heat up a bit.

Once you are confident that the nuts are lightly toasted, add the salt, the paprika and the pepper. Stir vigorously to coat the nuts evenly with the spices, and continue to stir constantly for another 30 to 45 seconds, until the spices are fragrant and the nuts are completely toasted. Immediately remove to a bowl and serve.

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